This story is scary and unnerving.
Detroit — Police are searching for two men who pulled a 13-year-old boy from his east side elementary school Wednesday and sexually assaulted him, a police source familiar with the investigation told The News.
The two men allegedly knocked on a locked door at Wayne Elementary School on Courville, and when the boy opened it, yanked him outside, forced him to an undisclosed location, bound him with tape and raped him, the source said.
Tia Wilson, whose daughter attends second grade at Wayne, a Detroit Public School, said parents were milling around the school Wednesday afternoon, upset over the news.
“When I came to pick up my daughter, I saw two police cars and a (Detroit Public Schools Police) car,” Wilson said.
“A lot of the parents were out there talking about it; they came up crying and told me what was going on.
“I heard that the teacher sent the little boy to the bathroom; he saw someone at the door and let him in; and they snatched him out of the school and raped him.
“My daughter could’ve answered that door,” Wilson said through tears.
Detroit Police said the department’s sex crimes unit is investigating but would not release additional details late Wednesday.
One area resident, Lawrence Snider, said he was mowing his grass when he noticed the youth walking down Lakepointe, which borders the school, in his school shirt, hands bound behind his back with black electrical tape.
His face was bleeding, Snider said. He was missing pants and shoes and appeared “all messed up,” Snider said.
The boy told him he was raped, and Snider helped contact his grandparents.
Snider, who has lived in the neighborhood for seven years, said he was upset about the incident and what he felt was a slow police response.
Raphael Cosby, who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, said the street generally is safe.
“We look out for each other,” he said. “It’s always been a good block.”
But Wednesday’s incident has him fearful for his two children, he said.
Longtime resident Shanita Jones returned home on Wednesday and learned from her neighbors about the crime and that police believe it happened in her clubhouse built behind her home.
The child’s shoes were found in the yard nearby, she said.
DPS has its own public safety department separate from the Detroit Police Department.
DPS spokeswoman Jennifer Mrozowski said: “We’ve received reports of a possible incident involving a 13-year-old student. Our officers are investigating.”
Keith Johnson, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, on Wednesday said no child had been abducted from a DPS school in the 33 years he has worked in the district.
“We’ve had children abducted going to and from school, but never anyone abducted from a building,” Johnson said.
“Wayne has surveillance cameras directly connected to the DPS police headquarters so they should be able to look at surveillance to verify and see what may have occurred and who may have done it.”
Calls to DPS on Wednesday night about the cameras were not returned.
Last year, DPS reported an increase in reported sexual assault cases on its campuses, school officials announced in August.
Thirteen more criminal sexual conduct cases were reported than from the year before, an increase of 26 percent.
Overall, fewer crimes were reported at DPS. On-campus incidents dropped from 1,207 in 2010-11 year to 1,087 in 2011-12, according to the Detroit Public Schools Police Department.
Burglaries and robberies were down 28 percent, felonious assaults dropped 35 percent, and reports of concealed weapons dipped 15 percent.
Arsons plummeted 61 percent.
But the incident Wednesday and other crimes in her neighborhood leave Jones feeling vulnerable and thinking about relocating.
Her home was robbed twice in the last month, she said, including Tuesday.
“If I have bars on my windows, what do I have to do — have Cujo at the door?” she said.