JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 13-year-old boy was arrested Monday at Kirby-Smith Middle School, accused of raping a girl in the bathroom.
Arkeem Askew is charged with sexual battery on a victim older than 12.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the victim said she was walking toward her locker when she was approached by Askew, who she said forced her into the girls' restroom.
Police said Askew pulled down the girl's pants and underwear and tried to have sex with her. Police said the victim struggled to the point where Askew pushed her into a bathroom stall and overpowered her.
Investigators said the victim was eventually able to escape the bathroom and contact school authorities.
According to the Duval County School District, the school resource officer had the suspect and victim complete written statements and then contacted police.
"The policy is to investigate first at the school level, then contact police. So what happened in this case was the student made the allegation, notified school personnel, immediately there was investigation, same day. On the spot at the scene and at that point JSO became involved in the investigation. And then move forward on the arrest," said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Nikolai Vitti.
Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, however, said school officials were likely just trying to find out what happened.
"Most administrators at the school level will do a preliminary investigation to fact find and then make the decision to contact the police," Vitti said.
He said this happened during an after-school tutoring program.
Police said Askew asked his grandmother to be present during a police interview, and she immediately told him to invoke his right to an attorney, and the interview was ended.
Askew was arrested and booked into the Duval Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
Askew's family did not comment at his home Tuesday.
Neighbors were surprised and worried.
"I got three little girls, 12, 13 and 14," Allen Rutherford said. "They walk down to Ribault Middle (School) and Ribault (High School). They have to walk to school. Now this done happened right across the street. Nah, man, something's got to happen about that."
Parents at the school said they had not been informed about what happened.
"That is not good at all," Melvin Nesmith said. "We need to be notified about that."
School officials say there is a resource officer and video surveillance at the school, but they didn't say if the event was captured on surveillance.
They said the principal does plan to inform parents by phone.
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