Baltimore County police said they had narrowed their search last night for a man who is alleged to have sexually assaulted a sixth-grader yesterday at Perry Hall Middle School.
About 2:30 p.m. yesterday, an 11-year-old girl reported to the principal's office that a man had followed her into the restroom between classes and sexually assaulted her, said Cpl. Mike Hill, a police spokesman.
The girl fought off the man, ran out of the restroom and reported the attack to a school resource officer - one of several county police officers who are stationed at schools across the county, he said.
"We don't know where he went, just that he exited the school," Hill added.
Using the victim's description and other evidence that Hill said he could not disclose, police have "pretty much confirmed" that the suspect is an employee of one of several contractor companies doing work at the school, Hill said. Police had made no arrest last night, he said.
"The contractors on the site are working cooperatively with police" to help identify the suspect, Hill said.
County schools spokeswoman Kara Calder said that the school's principal, Allen Zink, sent a recorded message last night to families regarding the incident and to reassure them that "safety is of the utmost importance to him."
She said classes are expected to start today as usual at 8:10 a.m., but that the principal and other school administrators plan to increase supervision of the hallways.
Renovation work has been going on at Perry Hall Middle since about the middle of last year as part of the school system's comprehensive program to upgrade the county's middle schools, Calder said. She said she did not know the name of the general contractor assigned to Perry Hall, but that one general contractor is overseeing the project and has likely hired subcontractors to help.
Calder said contract employees are expected to be closely supervised, and that school system administrators in charge of facilities yesterday contacted the general contractor to reiterate that expectation.
She said the intention is that any contractors working in the building during the school day are to be "kept separate from student activity."
"It is intended for the work to be done with minimal intrusion into the school day," she said.