UPDATED: A teen who allegedly assaulted a nine-year-old child after forcefully breaking into a Leanyer house overnight Tuesday has been arrested and charged after evading police for more than 24 hours.
NT Police said in a statement last evening that a 17-year-old was charged by the Serious Crime Squad on Thursday with aggravated unlawful entry at night, aggravated assault and criminal damage.
He has been remanded to appear before court tomorrow.
“Detectives from various crime and forensic sections worked overnight and we were able to locate the alleged offender [Thursday] morning,” said Detective Senior Sergeant Brett Cottier.
It’s unclear why the statement about the charges and apprehension was not released until 6:25pm.
Police alleged the teen forcefully entered a child’s home at about 2am Wednesday morning and assaulted the child.
Police did not mention the condition of the child, or whether it was a sexual assault.
In a statement on Wednesday, the police media unit said that police “attended within minutes of the report” but that the offender had fled the scene and remained on the loose when they issued the statement near 3pm on Wednesday.
Authorities had asked the public for any information that may help in the investigation, but did not provide much information to help identify the suspect, such as physical attributes or approximate age of the offender – details that would not be detrimental to the victim’s privacy.
“Detectives would like to speak to anyone who heard or saw any suspicious activity in Leanyer between 1:00 am and 3:00 am,” Sgt Cottier said in the initial release.
It’s unclear if anyone came forward with information.
“If you live in the area and have CCTV at your home or were driving through the area and have dash-cam footage, we ask that you contact police as soon as possible.”
The initial statement added that: “In the interest of protecting the victim’s privacy, no further details [will] be released while the investigation is in progress.”
Sr Sgt Cottier said police had increased patrols in Leanyer and canvassed the community.
He urged anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area to report it immediately.
Anyone with relevant information is urged to contact police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, quoting reference number 9799248.