A 12-year-old girl was robbed at gunpoint while walking to her Southeast Baltimore school last week, police confirmed after the school's principal sent parents a letter about the incident.
The girl, a student at Patterson Park Public Charter School in the first block of N. Lakewood Ave., was walking to school in her uniform about 7:30 a.m. Jan. 28 when a man wearing a ski mask approached her with a gun drawn and demanded her cellphone.
The incident took place at Rose Street and Fairmount Avenue, and the gunman fled eastbound on Fairmount Avenue, police said. The girl was not injured.
"We're working the case," said police spokesman Detective Jeremy Silbert.
Charles W. Kramer, principal of the Patterson Park Public Charter School, notified parents of the incident on Jan. 30, and a copy of letter was provided by a community member to The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday.
In an interview, Kramer praised police, saying they had been "really responsive," but bemoaned the crime in the area.
"It's just horrible. It shakes you up," he said. "It's certainly something that's happening too much. The specifics of it happening to a girl coming to school in a uniform … there's something particularly upsetting about that."
In his letter to parents, Kramer wrote that police said there had been other incidents involving "young men wearing ski masks or hats that partially cover their faces."
"Some attacks have happened in alleys in our community during the day and at night," he wrote. "Events such as this may trigger feelings of distress or concern, so please use this as an opportunity to speak with your children about safety and the importance of reporting suspicious persons or activities that they witness to school staff or the police."
He said the school's clinical staff has been checking in on the student and her family.
The Southeast Baltimore communities around Patterson Park have been on edge in recent weeks. A state lawmaker, Del. Luke Clippinger, has asked Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts to attend a community meeting next week, called in response to the killing of a Highlandtown woman in her home east of the park.
Police say one of the teenagers charged in the killing had broken into her home in August, and then broke into the home again with a friend and fatally stabbed her.
The Police Department's most recent statistics show robberies citywide are down 25 percent, and violent crime down 29 percent. In the Southeastern District, which stretches from Harbor East to Graceland Park, robberies are up 35 percent and violent crime is up 30 percent.