KENNEWICK, WA - Kennewick Police say the story about a man groping an 11-year-old girl on her way to school last week, was all made up by the girl.
Police say while cases like this don't happen often, officers do their best to validate the crime before they notify the public. However, officers say in this specific case, they decided to let the public know just in case the story did turn out to be true.
Police say this story may be a perfect opportunity for parent to discuss with their child the dangers of making up this type of story.
KENNEWICK, WA - The walk to school turned into a traumatic experience for one Kennewick girl on Tuesday. She says a man groped her on her way to school.
Police say the 11-year-old girl was walking down Garfield Street in between 16th and 19th Avenue.
She was on her way to Park Middle School, just a few blocks away, when she was groped.
The young girl told two friends at school what happened and one of the friends told a school staff member.
That's when the school notified police.
Park Middle School administrators work to encourage kids to find an adult they feel comfortable talking to about problems.
Administrators say daily announcements remind students that safety is first and they should reach out to an adult if anything bad happens.
"Make the students feel comfortable so that they're not going to be made to feel worse or bad. And often we're very confidential with anything the students bring to us. So the parents just need to communicate that and reinforce that with their child," said Kevin Pierce, Park Middle School principal.
Pierce encourages parents to talk with their children about the importance of telling an adult right away if there's something wrong.
Police described the man who groped the girl as possibly Hispanic with dark curly hair and a goatee.
Extra officers in marked and unmarked cars have been patrolling the area since the incident happened on Tuesday morning.