OAKLAND -- Parents joined a neighborhood cleanup Wednesday to call attention to two incidents in the past month in which a man entered school campuses and inappropriately touched students in East Oakland. Police released a sketch of the suspect in hopes that someone will see him and alert authorities.
The most recent incident was Friday at the World Academy-Education for Change school in East Oakland, where a girl reported that a man had molested her on campus, police said.
The charter school, at 1700 28th Ave., was locked down after the 7-year-old girl told school officials that a stranger approached her about 4:10 p.m. and molested her, police said.
Police searched school grounds but did not find a suspect. The suspect was not a school staff member, police said.
Police believe the same man is suspected in another incident reported Jan. 24 at a nearby Oakland public school, Think College Now Elementary School, which is two blocks from the World Academy campus.
A 6-year-old girl was approached by a stranger, who grabbed and touched her in an inappropriate manner, but the girl struggled and was able to get away and alert an adult at the Think College Now campus.
Teresa Ramos, a parent of an 8-year-old student at Think College Now, joined the cleanup Wednesday.
She said the school has heightened security on campus by requiring all parents to check in at the office, locked doors on campus and, with the help of Oakland police, is training parents to patrol the perimeter of the school.
"We need some new security because it's dangerous here," Ramos said. "We need to have our students safe. We think they're safe and this guy comes on campus and just grabs the girl."
Councilman Noel Gallo, who lives a couple of blocks from the two schools, joined the neighborhood cleanup Wednesday.
"We need the parents and the students to take ownership of their neighborhood and not wait for the police," Gallo said. "You have to report things when you see it in order to get involved."
He said the Police Department planned to start training parents to patrol the school perimeter of Think College Now at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The suspect identified in the police sketch is described as white or Hispanic, 6 feet tall, 180-200 pounds with black hair and a mustache. He may have a rash or birthmark on the left side of his forehead.
He was wearing a black T-shirt, bluejeans and brown Skechers shoes.
A reward of up to $7,500 is being offered for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information can call 510-238-3641, an anonymous tip line at 510-637-0298 or Crime Stoppers of Oakland at 510-777-8572.