Fort Worth

‘We Should Be the Protectors': Men Step Up to Patrol Fort Worth Streets After Child Attacked

Fort Worth Police are following leads to find the man who attacked a 13-year-old girl while she was walking to the bus stop.

It happened between 6:30 and 7 a.m. Thursday near Calmont and Laredo on the city's west side. The girl was badly injured and stumbled onto the school bus for help.

NBC 5 spoke to some of the girl's family Thursday afternoon. Her uncle said she is having a tough time and is still in Cook Children's Hospital, but the family is relying on faith and staying strong.

While police are searching for the attacker, the community is stepping up to protect its children. A group of men is planning to start patrolling the streets near where this happened, while kids are heading to school.

"When I first heard about it, I was just angry," said Pastor Derwin Harris, Director of the Restoration Center, which provides clothing, food and monetary support to the community near Las Vegas Trail.

"We really need to do something about that," Harris said.

Now he’s leading a group of men to turn their anger into action.

"As men, we should be the protectors of our community," Harris said.

They're vowing to prevent a repeat of what police say happened early Thursday morning, when a 13-year-old girl was attacked while walking to the bus stop at Calmont and Laredo. She managed to make it to the bus and was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.

"Things like this don't happen very often,” said Captain Devin Pitt of the Fort Worth Police Criminal Investigations Division. “It perks our ears immediately when we get a report of something like this."

Investigators do not believe the victim knew her attacker. Now, while they're canvassing the neighborhood and chasing down leads, a new set of allies is stepping up.

"It's not just the responsibility of the Fort Worth Police," Harris said. "I'm asking that the men in this community, we come together and develop some kind of team where we can patrol the streets in the morning to make sure our kids are safe."

Which brings us back to the Restoration Center, with the first round of volunteers. Christopher Scott walks his son to the elementary school right next to that bus stop every morning.

"I have a daughter who is 11 years old and she actually was attending that school so it actually really hit home," Scott said.

Now he wants to be there for every other child in his community, as an extra set of eyes keeping watch.

"We need to be out here together to be able to support each other,” Scott said. “It's not just one parent's job."

The group is asking for volunteers to join them, both men and women. Anyone who wants to help should meet Monday at 6 p.m. at the Restoration Center at 3452 Williams Road near Camp Bowie in West Fort Worth for a planning meeting.

They plan to start patrolling Tuesday morning.

Fort Worth police haven't been able to get much of a suspect description yet from the victim because of her condition. They are asking anyone who saw anything suspicious to call police at 817-392-4430 or CrimeStoppers at 817-469-8477.

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