PD: Suspect chased teen girl

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Portsmouth Police arrested a man officers say chased a 16-year-old girl as she walked to her bus stop Monday morning.

Det. Misty Holley with the Portsmouth Police Department told WAVY.com the girl was walking in the area of Peach Street and Nelson Street when the suspect called out to her just before 7 a.m. The girl ignored him and began to walk faster, but so did the suspect.

Holley said the girl then decided to run home, and the suspect ran after her.

When she got to her front porch, her older brother opened the door at which time the suspect turned and walked away. The suspect never touched the girl, Holley said.

Scene of assault, photo by WAVY/Chris Omahen.
Scene of assault, photo by WAVY/Chris Omahen.

After interviewing the girl, officers circulated the area and found a male suspect making the description. He was then positively identified by the girl and taken in for questioning. The suspect, 58-year-old David Liggins of Portsmouth, was charged with assault after investigators consulted with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Holley explained assault is the action and battery is the physical contact, which is why the suspect is just facing an assault charge. He has not been identified at this time.

Neighbor Monica Smith was particularly disturbed by the assault that happened on her street. She said a lot of students get on and off the bus not far from the area.

“I’m sure everybody will be watching out for that now that we know about it,” Smith said.

Holley said the 16 year-old handled the situation well. She did exactly what any teen or child should do if they ever find themselves in a similar situation.

“Put as much distance that you can between you and that subject,” said Holley. “If you’ve got to run; if you’ve got to yell scream, whatever you need to do. Make sure you do not go with someone you do not know. And if someone tries to take you, make as much noise as possible and try to get away.”

Holley said she encourages parents to be in contact with children when they leave and arrive at a destination. She also said parents should refresh their on what to do if a stranger approaches them.

The suspect is not the same one officers are looking for in an abduction case last week.

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