UPDATE: Sketch released of assault suspect

Stomach jab saves teen from potential kidnapping
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A self-defensive quick jab to the stomach saved a Maidu High School student from a surprise attack Wednesday morning. A 16-year-old teen reported that a man assaulted her while she was walking to school in north Auburn at about 7:30 a.m., according to Placer Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin. The girl said she was walking along Richardson Drive in front of Regional Park when a white male, who appeared to be in his 30s, pulled alongside her in his red, four-door truck. He asked for the time and when she looked down for her cell phone, he grabbed her and threw her against his truck, officials said. The teen reported that she elbowed the man in his stomach hard enough to make him loosen his grip so she could run away. The man fled in his truck as the teen ran home to call 911. Deputies saturated the area and issued a bulletin to all area law enforcement agencies. Investigators are currently following up on leads. The girl described her assailant as white, in his 30s, with a goatee and a muscular build. He was wearing a black, zip-up hooded sweatshirt. At this time, it’s unknown if the suspect’s intent was to rob the girl or to kidnap her. Maidu High School principal Kathleen Sutphen said the school was informed of the incident, but for the most part it was a “quiet day.” Authorities did not advise them to lock down the campus. She said staff and students did notice sheriff’s deputies patrolling the area looking for the suspect. She added that teachers and staff talked to any student who had questions about the incident. “We talk regularly about setting boundaries and not trusting strangers and keeping your distance,” Sutphen said Wednesday. “If they have questions about directions, they can holler it to you.” - Jenifer Gee