Community Safety: Incident in the park near Arcata Elementary

An incident occurred in our community on Tuesday, September 20th off campus near Arcata Elementary School. An Arcata School District student was attacked on the footpath between Baldwin Street and Cahill Park while walking to school. A parent walking her children to school acted swiftly to interrupt the attack. The parent and bystanders brought the student to the school, and Arcata Elementary called 911 to report the crime.

Principal Victoria Parker walked the path to the park to assist, direct other students who use the path, identify witnesses, and wait for the police to arrive.

The Arcata Police Department responded immediately. Members of the community were also quick to respond to the situation and assist the police. APD apprehended the suspect shortly after the attack occurred, and he is in custody.

We are shocked and saddened that this occurred in our community. This is a very rare incident, and a good reminder to us all to be vigilant and aware of safety concerns in the community. Children should not be considered at risk going to and from school. Safety rules to follow include walk with a group, be aware of your surroundings, and make loud noises if accosted. Report suspicious persons or activities to the police, school staff and parents.

School staff will be monitoring the students this week and addressing concerns as they arise. The Arcata School District is working with the Arcata Police Department to help them ensure the safety of our students in the community.