A NSW community where a 12-year-old schoolgirl was dragged into bushland and sexually assaulted is “angry” and worried, with police upping their presence in the area in a bid to make residents feel safe.
Superintendent Danny Sullivan says the man responsible for Monday morning’s horrific Central Coast attack hasn’t been found but locals have come forward with information and leads.
“We’re very pleased with the response so far,” he told AAP on Tuesday.
Additional police on the ground and a mobile command centre are “reassuring the local community that we’re doing our best to make sure the area is safe,” he said.
The girl told police she was grabbed from behind by a knife-wielding stranger while walking alone to school on a commonly-used pathway between Reeves and Carrington Streets at Narara just before 8am.
The man, dressed in camouflage clothing, took the girl to nearby bushland, tied her up and sexually and indecently assaulted her.
The girl escaped to her school where she reported the incident before being treated at Gosford Hospital.
‘I can acknowledge that our community is angry,” Supt Sullivan said.
‘But at this stage it’s about trusting your local police to conduct a professional and thorough investigation.
I certainly wouldn’t be encouraging anybody towards thoughts of vigilante action.”
Supt Sullivan said there was no connection between the attack and a poster recently seen in the area warning of a paedophile.
‘I’m not going to comment on that at all and certainly I’m not exploring that as a link in this matter at the moment,” he said.
The attacker is described as being in his mid-20s, about 175 to 180 centimetres tall, grey-blond haired, blue eyed and with a chubby build.
He was wearing a knitted camouflage shirt and camouflage pants and hat, with a loose covering over his face that exposed his eyes and nose.
As well as the hunting knife, he was carrying a camouflage bag.
Local investigators are working with detectives from the State Crime Command child abuse squad.