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Teacher Beaten by Unknown Suspect Inside N.C. Elementary School

The assailant entered West Hoke Elementary School through an unlocked door and assaulted the teacher with an unknown metal object.

A teacher at West Hoke Elementary was assaulted inside the school Monday after confronting a male assailant.

Hoke County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Raeford, N.C., school after police say the man entered through a side door at approximately 5:30 p.m. The door was unlocked for parents picking up children from an afterschool program, according to WRAL.

The teacher approached the unknown man who inquired about a former employee. The man then struck the teacher in the head, face and hands with an unknown metal object. Other employees say they heard her screams and the suspect ran off.

The teacher suffered serious injuries and was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where she is recovering. Deputies were told the teacher and her attacker did not know each other. Her name is not being released for security concerns, according to the Fay Observer.

The suspect is described as a black man, possibly in his 30s, with a slim build and facial hair. He was wearing a dark-colored jacket and a toboggan hat at the time of the attack. An image of the man was caught on surveillance video but no arrests have been made.

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin says he believes the man planned to steal items from the school when the teacher confronted him.

Principal A.J. Hammond says the side door is typically locked and the school’s security procedures will be reexamined.

“You have to occasionally leave the door open, and that’s something that we’ve been talking about, but we try to do a good job of securing the building,” says Hammond. “In hindsight, I wish there were a lot of things that I could have done for that teacher and for this community.”

Jodie Bryant, a spokeswoman for the Hoke County school system, says additional counselors were on hand at the school on Tuesday.

Extra police patrols have been monitoring the school as the investigation continues.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 875-5111.

About the Author

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Amy Rock is the Campus Safety Web Editor. She graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Education.

She has worked in the publishing industry since 2011, in both events and digital marketing.

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