By Reg Chapman

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Police in St. Paul are investigating after a 5-year-old girl was assaulted Monday morning after being dropped off at a bus stop.

The crime happened around 8 a.m. at the corner of Park Street and Cook Avenue minutes after the girl’s mother dropped her off, police say.

The girl’s school bus came, but left without her. The driver of another bus noticed the girl hiding behind a tree.

“She took off running towards [the driver] and the school bus, she had a shoe in one hand and her pants and underwear were down around her right ankle,” said St. Paul police spokesperson Steve Linders.

The bus driver called police.

When officers arrived, the child was in bad shape.

“She was bleeding from her nose, she was bleeding from her mouth, her face was swollen, and it appeared she had a broken nose,” Linders said.

The girl was taken to Children’s Hospital, where she was evaluated, examined, treated, and released to family.

Police say the Midwest Children’s Resource Center has interviewed the child, who said she did not recognize the person who attacked her.

“The suspect described, in this case, is a black male…described as a big older boy wearing a blue shirt and blue pants,” Linders said.

Police have a strong presence in the neighborhood, which is just north of the Capitol, and say they will use every resource available to find the person responsible.

A neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said the attack has many in the community on edge.

“I kept my daughter home from school today because of this whole issue,” she said.

Investigators do not know exactly where the assault took place.

Officers are canvasing the area and looking for help in finding the person responsible.

If you have any information, call St. Paul police at 651-291-1111.

Reg Chapman