A Frank Long Elementary School employee was assaulted in the school’s parking lot Wednesday morning before dawn.
Hinesville Police Department detectives are investigating the case, but Det. Melvin Kesner said Wednesday there was not much information that could be made public.
“We always step up patrol in that area,” Kesner said when asked whether the department planned to step up patrols of the campus, which is on Long Frasier Street adjacent to Lewis Frasier Middle School.
Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer confirmed the report and said the employee was being examined at Liberty Regional Medical Center.
The female employee, whose name Scherer did not release, reportedly sustained bruises and cuts and was repeatedly yanked on the right arm.
“We don’t know whether the motive is rape or burglary or what,” Scherer said. “Whether he’d been stalking her, whether he knew her — she doesn’t know him — but we don’t have any clue exactly right now.”
Scherer said the woman arrived at work around 5:45 a.m. and was attacked as she was trying to unlock the school’s door.
A male attacker grabbed the woman and tried to force her into his car, Scherer said. She tried to fight him off and he got a hold of her purse.
“Probably what saved her was another employee coming down the road,” she added.
Several employees are scheduled to arrive at work around that time, Scherer said. The district tries to prevent having only one employee in a building at any time, but it’s hard to ensure everyone arrives simultaneously.
“We’re doing everything we can to protect our employees and our students, but safety is an ongoing issue,” she said.
Students are unlikely to be affected by such attacks, she added.
“By the time the students get there in the morning, there is a sufficient number of adults around,” Scherer said.
The board of education has a work session next week, where they already are slated to discuss installation of cameras at school campuses. The topic has been discussed in previous meetings.
“We certainly are looking at procedures and cameras and what we can do,” the superintendent said. “It’s hard cost-wise to provide security cameras for all the inside and the entire outside of the schools.”
During a June 2012 work session, the BoE earmarked $180,000 in capital funds to provide cameras for the schools that do not have them.
That move followed a January 2012 incident in which two juveniles vandalized Midway Middle and Liberty Elementary schools. The vandals, two juveniles whose names were not released, were captured on surveillance footage, but the incident brought attention to security weaknesses at other campuses.