Residents helping police find man who sexually assaulted 12-year-old

CHICAGO -- Two days after a young girl was sexually assaulted right here on this block, residents are banding together to try to get the word out, so the perpetrator can be arrested.

Community activist, Andrew Holmes, is working off little sleep.

After working several shooting scenes Friday night, early Saturday morning, he hit the pavement in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, to make sure those who live here know about the sexual assault that took place here late Thursday night.

“This was a 12-year-old female. A 12-year-old baby, that was sexually assaulted and abducted. It shouldn’t have never happened and we need to get this predator off the street,” Holmes said.

Police say that the girl was walking on 50th and May when a man hit her and forced her into a grey conversion van, where he assaulted her.

That girl managed to escape, but it’s a case that struck a nerve for Holmes.

Holmes said his oldest daughter, Tamara Sword, who was killed two years ago by gun violence in Indianapolis, was nearly lured by a stranger, more than 20 years ago, when she was just 11.

“I was inside the house and all I could hear her do was scream, ‘Daddy!’” Holmes said.

Holmes was able to rescue his daughter, from that man and he’s hoping to the same for other children who live in this neighborhood.

That’s why he’s canvasing these areas, passing out these community alerts to those who live here.

“It’s scary. It’s very scary. I have a teenage daughter and she walks this street going to school,” Tanisha Johnson, a resident, said.

Those who have lived here all their lives said gun violence is the norm, but not sexual assaults.

Kendra Wilson, Johnson, and their neighbors were so upset, they were moved to action.

“Don’t no one live here. I’m going to put them places where I know people live,” Wilson said.

They helped Holmes get the word out and pass out these community alerts in the South of the Yards apartment complex where they live.

“We feel like the complex here is a safe haven for kids. Even the kids off of May where it happened at, they come here because they feel safe here,” Johnson said.

“It takes a village to raise a child. Just not one person,” Wilson said.

“That was a baby. Hands off the babies. It’s as simple as that,” Holmes said.

Police are advising children not to walk alone and to find a friend or a group.

They also said to talk to your children and make sure they report any suspicious activity.