Man in custody after girl hit by car, raped on her way to school

Published: Dec. 5, 2016 at 1:47 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2016 at 1:14 PM CST
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(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A child was taken to the hospital after she said she was attacked while walking to Geeter Middle School.

The girl told officers that a car hit her near the intersection of Delta Road and 12th Road. A man then got out of the car, forced her into his SUV, drove off, and assaulted her.

It is a crime that shook officers and residents alike to the core.

"That broke my heart to imagine that a little innocent 11-year-old girl on the way to school was brutally attacked by anyone," MPD Director Mike Rallings said. "I'm glad that we worked again to bring that family some closure."

Police said the little girl was walking alone, which made her a possible target.

Monday night, police arrested Larry Ward, 20, in connection to the crimes.

Ward is no stranger to flashing blue lights. In 2015, Ward was arrested for burglary of a building. Earlier this year, he was arrested for driving while his license was suspended or revoked.

Even with Ward in custody, Rallings is asking parents to take extra steps to protect 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.

A man, on his way to work, stopped to talk to the little girl after the assault. He said the look on her face was heartbreaking.

"I see a girl sitting on the corner crying," Cameron Fifer said.

Fifer was on his way to work when he saw the young girl sitting by the corner with police officers in the background.

"As I stopped to ask her what happened, first thing she said was, 'I just got raped,'" Fifer said. "She was like, 'I was hit by a truck, a blue truck and the guy proceeded to rape me.'"

The girl told Fifer she ran off the road while walking to the bus stop for school.

"She lives some blocks down and it's really far from the bus stop," Fifer said. "She was like, 'I was hit by a truck.' That's just mind blowing."

The victim was taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. She is in non-critical condition.

Neighbors are heartbroken at what happened to the young girl.

"I just lost a son you know, so I could only imagine what she's going through, so it hurt me," neighbor Jimmie Blanchard said. "It's sad that somebody would do a child like that. The youth is everything. They are the future."

Rallings also said if you or your child needs to walk alone, please let someone know the route you will take before you leave. Also, have extra safety tools like mace and a cellphone with you to add protection.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.