The girl was walking to Geeter Middle School Monday morning when she was hit by an SUV driven by 20-year-old Larry Ward.
After hitting the girl, Ward allegedly put the girl in his vehicle, sexually assaulted her then left her in a roadside ditch.
Minutes after the attack, Cameron Fifer saw the girl crying on the corner of the road and knew something bad had happened.
“Man, phew. Her face. Something just struck fear in her definitely,” he said.
When he stopped and asked the girl what happened, she said: “I got raped.”
The girl told arriving police what had happened to her and provided a description of the suspect and the SUV he was driving. She was taken to the hospital in non-critical condition and has since been treated and released.
Her mother says aside from being battered and bruised, she is expected to be ok.
Sex crimes investigators immediately went to the scene while police spent hours searching for the suspect. They eventually found Ward driving an SUV that matched the girl’s description two miles from where the assault occurred. Ward’s physical appearance and clothes also matched the girl’s description and he was arrested.
Ward has been charged with rape, aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated assault. He has past arrests for burglary and driving with a suspended or revoked license.
A spokesman for Shelby County Schools reminded parents that children should walk to school with a friend or with a group of people.Tags: Crime, Larry Ward, Rape, school, Sexual Assault, student, Tennessee