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YES Prep student sexually assaulted while walking to school

HOUSTON – Security was increased Wednesday after a YES Prep High School student was snatched and sexually assaulted by a man while walking to school Tuesday morning, according to Houston police.

Police said a 16-year-old girl was walking to school sometime before 8 a.m. when a man pulled up alongside her in a black SUV. He asked the girl for directions and when she came close to the vehicle, he pulled out a knife and snatched her inside, police said.  The man then took the girl to an unknown location and sexually assaulted her.

After the assault, the man dropped the girl off in the 10600 block of Harwin. A business owner there said the teen ran up to her warehouse, crying and shaking, begging a delivery driver for help.

"She was shaking like this: 'There is someone following me in the back,' and I said, 'OK, baby.' I am holding her don't worry about what happened just called 911," warehouse owner Amanda Enomoto said. "I called 911 and let her talk to police.  And I was holding her for like 30 minutes and she was talking to 911 and describing what happened."

Police arrived and the girl was taken to the hospital.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man with a beard, and is believed to be between 35 and 40 years old. He was wearing a hoodie at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information about the assault is urged to contact police.

The school issued a statement that read, "The well-being and safety of our students and staff is our top priority at YES Prep. We are deeply saddened to report that the Houston Police Department are in the process of investigating a sexual assault committed against a high school student on her way to school at YES Prep West. Understandably, this is a difficult time for the student, her family, and the campus community. As a system, we are keeping in contact with the student's family and the police department, and we will offer support during this difficult time."

The school said they will have additional security at the school, as well as administration staffing from the central office for pick up and drop off beginning Tuesday afternoon.  Counselors will also be available for students in need.