View in-depth video interviews by Tracie Wells here.
The recent abduction and brutal rape of a 14-year-old John Marshall Middle School student brought together hundreds of parents and concerned community members, top police brass and one passionate school principal who called them all to task, in no uncertain terms.
Some parents would consider the conversation and verbal exchanges inappropriate for a school auditorium, but, “It’s all the truth,” said John Marshall Middle School Principal Jeffery C. White, who called the community awareness and informational meeting on March 27.
White said he wants his Eastside community to “become enraged” about the March 23 attack on the girl as she walked to her morning bus stop. He also wants the school families and people who live in the area to exchange information and concerns with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department so they can track down the rapist.
After White demanded his community step up, Sheriff Frank Anderson, Chief Spears and several other IMPD brass gave what little information they’ve uncovered and responded to audience questions. IMPD also outlined its plan of action, which includes many extra investigators combing the neighborhoods and talking to folks who live there and extra traffic patrols strictly enforcing traffic violations. Police are also checking the Sex Offender Registry, cross-referencing all recently released offenders with the type of attack that took place.
White and the police strongly encouraged anyone with any information to come forward, saying it’s the best way to catch the rapist, and “Somebody knows something.” Police have few details about the suspect and his car. They say the young girl was too traumatized to remember much detail.
If you have any information, call CrimeStoppers at 317-262-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.
If you want to donate to the Teenage Rape Victim Scholarship Fund, you can go to any Huntington National Bank, Attention: John Marshall Rape Victim Fund. Or, send donations to 3810 N. Mitthoeffer, Indianapolis, IN, 46235. You can also contact John Marshall Middle School to donate to the Reward Fund.
‘Partnering to Protect the Children’: KEEPING KIDS SAFE
From the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Northeast District
• Know where your children are at all times.
• Know your child’s friends and their parents.
• Get to know your neighbors and teach your children where to safely go for help.
• Develop a safety plan for your children if they ever arrive home to an empty house. Do they know how to call you?
Teach your children to:
• Walk confidently and to stay alert and notice what’s happening around them.
• Walk and play in groups, never alone.
• To refuse rides or gifts from strangers, and to tell you when and where this occurs.
• To use a “buddy system” walking to school or the store.
• Establish a route to and from school on main roads and never use alleys.
• To never open a door when at home alone or without a parent’s permission.
• To not answer questions from strangers.
• To make lots of noise, yell, scream and run to the nearest business or “safe place” when confronted by someone who could harm them.