EAST SIDE — After a 15-year-old girl was sexually assaulted before school Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the Safe Passage program is bigger than simply providing children safety to and from school along certain routes.
"Every street in the city of Chicago, regardless of where it is, regardless of the hour, should be a safe street for the children of the city of Chicago. I don't care what time of day, and I don't care what route it's on," the mayor said at an unrelated news conference Thursday. "If you are an adult, you are part of the Safe Passage system."
The 15-year-old girl was walking southbound about 6 a.m. Tuesday in the 2400 block of North Long Avenue in Belmont Cragin when she was attacked by an "unknown male," police said in a community alert issued Tuesday night.
The scene was not far from a Safe Passage route that serves students at Northwest Middle School. The route includes Fullerton and Long avenues.
Police said the girl was "struck about the head and dragged into the rear yard of a nearby residence and sexually assaulted."
The girl was taken in serious condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, police said.
"First and foremost my thoughts are with the mother and the father and the family," the mayor said. "Second, is with bringing whoever did this to justice swiftly."
No one had been arrested as of Thursday afternoon, police said.