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Tunnell Elementary in Santa Maria Locked Down After Assault Suspect Flees

Police search a residential neighborhood for the man, accused of attacking a 24-year-old woman

Tunnell Elementary School in Santa Maria was placed on lockdown Tuesday after a suspect in a felony assault evaded officers by running through a residential neighborhood and into backyards.

The Santa Maria Police Department responded about 11:15 a.m. to an assault on a 24-year-old female. Officers attempted to contact the suspect, but he fled from a vehicle in the 1300 block of Leslie Court and into the neighborhood.

Because of the nature and proximity of the incident, the school was placed on lockdown from 11:35 a.m. to 12:48 a.m., police said.

Santa Maria officers, with assistance from a California Highway Patrol helicopter, completed a neighborhood search for the suspect but were unable to locate him

The victim was taken by ambulance to Marian Medical Center for evaluation.

Police have identified the suspect as Daniel Hernandez, 19, of Santa Maria. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 877.800.9100 or the police department at 805.928.3781.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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