A man in Memphis has been arrested for harming and sexually assaulting a young girl who was on her way to school.
The 11-year-old girl, whose identity remains private, told officers as she walked to Greeter Middle School, an SUV hit her near an intersection. Afterward, a man got out of the car, forced her into the vehicle, drove away and raped her.
Police later identified and arrested 20-year-old Larry Ward in connection with her attack.
The girl said that after Ward assaulted her, he dropped her back off on the side of the road, where she sat on the ground and cried.
Then Cameron Fifer, who was on his way to work, stopped to talk to the girl when he noticed the pained look on her face.
"I see a girl sitting on the corner crying," Fifer told Fox 19. "As I stopped to ask her what happened, first thing she said was, 'I just got raped.' She was like, 'I was hit by a truck, a blue truck, and the guy proceeded to rape me.'"
The victim was then taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, where she was treated. Officials say she is in non-critical condition.
When officers were made aware of the crime, they could not contain their emotional response.
"That broke my heart to imagine that a little innocent 11-year-old girl on the way to school was brutally attacked by anyone," Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings told Fox 19. "I'm glad that we worked again to bring that family some closure."
Now that Ward is in custody, Rallings is asking parents to still be very cautious when it comes to their children.
"At any time, I encourage adults and young people to walk in groups if they're going to and fro. Definitely pay attention to your surroundings," Rallings said.
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