Strange man found in school bathroom

Evansdale Elementary School (maps.google.com)

Evansdale Elementary School (maps.google.com)

Allison Salz, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 PM ET

EDMONTON - Edmonton Public Schools says it's reassessing safety measures after a student at a northside school said was touched inappropriately by a stranger in the washroom.

Police were called to Evansdale Elementary School near 93 Street and 150 Avenue around 10:55 a.m. Tuesday after the boy reported he was approached by the strange man.

Investigators are still trying to determine just how the man made his way into the school washroom without being noticed.

The child reported the encounter to school staff after the man left.

Lisa Wright, Superintendent of Schools with Edmonton Public Schools, called the assault "disturbing" to both the school board and parents, and said that an internal investigation has been launched to determine what gaps can be found in current safety procedures.

"We have safety and security processes at all of our schools. Having said that, clearly we need to do better. We're going to look at any places that we can do better. And we will," she said.

"Right now, there's more questions than answers. Our security personnel go out to that building, have a complete audit of the entrances, the processes. Talking to school staff, were there any gaps, what we can do better?"

The city police Child Protection Section continues to investigate and follow up with staff and students at the school.

Schools in the area are notifying parents of the case and police continue to search for the man.

Cops say it's crucial that citizens report any unusual people or activity that they see, especially around schools and playgrounds, adding that the more information they have, the better chance they have of catching up with culprits.

Det. Cameron Hawrish said investigators are unable to disclose the age of the child, but added that he's "doing well, he's a great kid."

Hawrish added that the biggest challenge with working with such a young victim, is validating the details that the child offers up.

"It's not that we don't trust what they're saying, but like anybody, you forget, you might make mistakes," he said.

"But the more they're questioned about something, the more they're formulating their own answers to what they think someone wants to hear."

The man in this case is described as an older Caucasian male, balding with grey hair, and about five foot six. He was wearing dark clothing and shoes.

Anyone with information that can help to identify and locate this suspect is asked to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can be submitted to CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm


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