Student charged in teacher attack not enrolled at Whittemore Park

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) A middle school student is facing an attempted criminal sexual conduct charge after Conway Police say he tried to attack a woman at his former school Wednesday evening.

Catina Hipp, spokeswoman for the Conway Police Department, said officers responded to Whittemore Park Middle School located at 1808 Rhue Street in reference to an assault. When they arrived, they met the victim who was located in her classroom.

According to the victim, a student knocked on the outer door right outside her classroom and said he needed to get a jacket from his locker on the eighth grade hall. The victim told police as they began walking down a hallway, the student pushed her toward the men's restroom.

Hipp said the victim told police she put her foot against the wall to brace herself and a struggle with the student ensued. At that time, the victim said the student pushed her head into his crotch area and they continued to struggle to the floor.

During the altercation, the victim was able to get to her feet and began walking back toward the main hall, Hipp said. The student reportedly reached out to grab her, at which point she said she screamed.

According to the victim, the student then ran toward the front doors as she ran back to another hallway.

Hipp said the vice principal was able to positively identify the student through school surveillance video. Officers later located the student at his home and took him into custody without incident. Police have charged him with attempted criminal sexual conduct in the second degree.

Teal Britton, spokeswoman for Horry County Schools, told WMBF News the victim is a teacher at Whittemore Park Middle. She said the student is a former student at Whittemore Park Middle and was enrolled at Conway Middle School at the time of the incident.

The teacher was unaware he was no longer enrolled at Whittemore Park when she let him inside, Britton added.

Some parents say they have questions about how the student got into the school in the first place.

"Whether it was practicing for something or whether it was like an ongoing choir practice the security as far as I'm concerned should be the same," Deborah Bibart.

Bibart says the suspect deserves to be punished, but she hopes the incident won't follow him for the rest of his life.

"Nobody ever knows what [kids will] do on their own and just like that they could make a misjudgment and then there's consequences possibly forever," she said.

Many people in the community are talking about the incident and the majority say they're shocked.

"I think it's a shame and a disgrace," said Diane Evans, who lives right near the school.

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