Police investigating assault of custodian outside Salem elementa - KPTV - FOX 12

Police investigating assault of custodian outside Salem elementary school

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SALEM, OR (AP) -

Police are looking into an assault at a Salem elementary school after they said a custodian was attacked by a group of people in the parking lot.

Salem police said it happened in the parking lot at Cesar E. Chavez Elementary School around 9:25 p.m. Thursday.

The school confirmed it was a custodian and he was taking a break at the time of the incident. 

Police said he had cuts and bruises after the attack, but didn’t want medical treatment.

The next day, a letter was sent out to parents from the school’s principal. 

“I’m writing to let you know that last night, one of our employees was assaulted while on his break outside of the school. We take the safety of our students and staff very seriously, and we’re working with law enforcement to apprehend the perpetrators. While this did not occur during school hours, we will continue to review our safety procedures and provide a safe and welcoming school for our community.”

The letter also told parents to call the office if they had any questions.

“Chavez is a very safe school,” said Principal Olga Cobb. “We take the safety of our students and our staff very seriously so when we learned of this, we just went back to our policies and protocols to just make sure we are always thinking of anything that can happen and always making sure our kid are safe at all times.”

The principal Monday also told FOX 12 some precautions they take to keep students safe.

“We have security cameras around the perimeter of our school,” said Cobb. “We buzz people in, they have to tells us what they’re doing at the school, why they’re here, what they’re coming for.”

Melinda Olsen’s daughter not only goes to the school, but they also live across the street.

“It’s very concerning,” said Olsen. “I think one of our biggest concerns is these things are happening after hours."

“We feel really safe during the school day, but there’s really not a lot of police activity in this area as far as patrols,” Olsen continued.

Other parents are hoping it was an isolated incident.

“I mean we never like to hear that someone got hurt, but it wasn’t during school so it didn’t worry me that much,” said parent Janelle Skalla.

“I have a kindergartener so this is all really new to me, but I think the school is safe and they did everything they needed to do,” continued Skalla.

The principal said they are working with police and that means sharing any surveillance video the school has.

Cobb also said the employee has not been back to work, but is expected to be back soon.

So far, no arrests have been made.

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