Parents dropping off their kids at school this morning say they don’t want their kids to walk.”Yes I am scared and I am talking a lot with her about the incident yesterday. And she is more comfortable being dropped off in front of the office she never wants to walk,” said parent Amelia Gutierrez as she dropped off her daughter.
RELATED: Man arrested, accused of abducting and sexually assaulting 14-year-old girl in Sonoma
Detectives say the suspect grabbed the first victim, a 14-year-old girl, at the intersection of El Dorado Drive and Railroad Avenue. They say she fought back while he drove her to another location and sexually assaulted her before letting her go.
The second victim had also been walking to school when Granado-Lopez allegedly grabbed her.
She escaped and called 911. Police found Granado-Lopez sitting in his car, based on matching descriptions form the victims. They took him into custody a short time later.
The superintendent sent a letter to parents alerting them to what happened.
“It hit me really hard. I have a 17-year-old daughter who it hit really hard as well. It’s scary. Small town Sonoma, you just don’t expect things like this,” said parent Heather Hilton.
“This is an amazing school we love this school, but when we got the letter, it was kind of vague,” said Jessica Quintal.
She went into the school Wednesday morning to express her concerns and was told to attend next Tuesday’s Parent-Teacher Organization meeting.
Suspect in yesterday’s sexual assault on Altimira Middle School student identified as Jesse Leon Granado-Lopez, 49 years old, of Santa Rosa. Detailed press release coming later today. pic.twitter.com/KpbzuukXcE
— Sonoma Sheriff (@sonomasheriff) January 8, 2020
She wasn’t satisfied with the letter sent by the superintendent or by her daughter’s reaction, who told her it was ‘no big deal’.
“The school totally downplayed it and I was upset about that. They made it sound like it was nothing! It WAS a big deal what happened and I feel like there should be some sort of safety awareness, rally for kids for parents,” Quintal said.
Her 13-year-old daughter walks home every afternoon.
The Sheriff’s office stationed a deputy outside the school and says they will increase patrols in the area this week to reassure nervous parents. They expect to release more information later today.
Sonoma Valley Unified School District Human Resources Director, Andrew Ryan, told ABC7 News to email him with questions. He did not respond to our email requesting an on-camera interview.
Altimira Middle School referred reporters to the Sheriff’s Office for comment.
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