NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a man they said sexually assaulted a 13-year-old walking home from school in the Bronx.

The suspect was caught on surveillance video at a deli just blocks away from Crotona Park, where police said the attack happened, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Thursday.

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According to police, the suspect, wearing a gray hoodie and black hat, grabbed the child leaving school Monday around 2:30 p.m. Police said the child’s leggings were forcibly removed during the sexual assault.

“It’s terrible…. Those people are sick. They are out of their mind,” said George Owusu.

(credit: NYPD)

According to police, the suspect stole the child’s cellphone and took off. The child was treated at the hospital and has been released.

Customers at the deli on Franklin Avenue and East 170th Street said they see the suspect all the time. They called police after CBS2 showed them his picture.

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“He lives in my building, he lives right here,” one person told Duddridge. “I would say, not all there in the head. So he needs his parents or he needs some type of guidance. But that needs to be brought to justice.”

Parents in the area said they’ve warned their kids to be extremely careful.

“Go straight to school, back to school, home. Don’t talk to strangers,” said Marleay Guerrero. “When you’re walking, don’t use your cellphone.”

“You have to stay in school and wait for your parents to come and get you. That’s the safest way,” another parent said.

“We have a lot of shelters along this way, rehabs and things like that. It could become a rough neighborhood,” said Tihisha Eure, who works in the area.

The victim did not know the attacker, police said . Residents hope he’s arrested soon.

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Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.

Natalie Duddridge