NEW CASTLE (KDKA) — Police in Lawrence County are urging teenagers to be vigilant and walk in groups after a girl told authorities that a man raped her while she was walking to school.

New Castle Police Chief Robert Salem tells KDKA-TV News that there will be stepped up police patrols in the area near the high school after the 15-year-old girl claimed she was raped.

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The allegedly incident happened in an alley near the school early Thursday morning.

While the investigation is on-going, Chief Salem is urging young people not to walk alone, but rather with friends or in a group.

The teenage girl said she was near Wallace and Lincoln Avenues when she was assaulted.

The man was reportedly wearing dark clothing and a hoodie pulled over his head.

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Bill Eakin, who owns Superior Motor Sport, a car lot nearby, said police removed from his surveillance camera to see if it shows any unusual activity around the time of the reported incident.

Police distributed fliers in the neighborhood, asking anyone who may have seen something unusual to contact them.

“You don’t need someone around here like that,” Eakin said. “There’s kids all over the neighborhood.”

Reacting to the incident, Kelly Korab, of New Castle, said, “It’s a tragic event. I’m praying for the girl, and her family, and praying they catch who did this.”

Police say forensic evidence has been sent to the crime lab. Test results won’t be known for several weeks.

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