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Girl whose ponytail was cut off not New Haven student

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

New Haven — Authorities are on the lookout for a male who attacked a 14-year-old girl, knocking her down and cutting off her ponytail, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.

The incident occurred at about 3 p.m. Friday as the victim was walking on a paved trail that leads to New Haven Elementary School, according to the sheriff’s department. New Haven Community Schools officials said Monday the girl does not attend the public school system.

As she neared the end of the trail, the girl said she encountered three males standing near a large tree. The teen said she lowered her head and tried to pass, but one of the males yelled at her and then approached her.

According to investigators, a male grabbed her by the front of her hooded sweatshirt and then struck her in the face with his open hand when she tried to pull away.

The victim fell and then her attacker knelt on top of her, brandished what appeared to be a black-handled, double-edged mechanical knife and used it to cut off her ponytail.

The victim told police she was then dragged into a water puddle before being released. The three males then ran from the scene.

The victim described her attacker as 16-18 years of age, with a mustache and a “dark stubble” beard. He was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt with white lettering.

The other two males were described as older, possibly 20 years of age. Police said they did not take part in the attack.

The victim received a small cut to the inside of her upper lip that did not require medical attention.

In an email to the New Haven Community Schools community, Superintendent Keith Wunderlich said Monday the victim is not a student in the school district.

“In addition, our high school was still in session during the time of the incident and absence records don’t match any possible assailants in this incident,” he wrote. “While we are relieved this didn’t involve any New Haven Community Schools students, we are still very concerned about something like this happening so close to our property.”

Wunderlich said staff will keep an eye on surrounding property.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the sheriff’s department detective bureau at (586) 307-9358.

(313) 222-2023

Detroit News Staff Writer Candice Williams contributed.