Man assaulted child walking to school in Cumberland County, deputies say

Cumberland County News

HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WNCN) – Cumberland County deputies are asking for a community’s help investigating after a child was assaulted while walking to school.

According to a news release, the assault happened around 7 a.m. Tuesday. Deputies responded to the area of Celebration Drive and Pride Lane, which is the Cypress Lakes Village community. Gray’s Creek middle and high schools are nearby.

Bernard Jones, Jr., 22, was charged with assault on a child less than 12 years of age.

Jones was taken to the hospital after he was located because deputies noticed “clear signs of cognitive impairment,” the release said.

Deputies asked for anyone who lives in the area to check surveillance cameras for any video they may have of Jones.

Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright said he was proud of the 911 caller, “who was a vigilant, Good Samaritan that immediately intervened and sprang into action after recognizing that children were possibly in danger.”

Wright was also proud of the other juvenile witnesses who ran for help when they saw the stranger advancing, the release said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective S. Odenweider at 910-677-5477 or CrimeStoppers at 910-483-8477.

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