UPDATED 02/22/12 6:33 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Police are warning parents and children in the West Englewood neighborhood Wednesday, a day after a 13-year-old girl was raped at gunpoint in an alley.

Police say around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, the girl was walking in the 5900 block of South Wood Street when a man she didn’t know came up and started chatting with her.

The man then pulled out a blue steel handgun and forced the girl into a nearby alley, where he sexually assaulted her, police said.

The assailant remains at large. He is described as an African-American male standing 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a slim build and a light complexion. He was wearing a black hooded jacket and a black skullcap at the time of the attack, police said.

Police are urging women and children not to walk alone, and are asking everyone to call 911 to report suspicious people, vehicles or activity.

Parents should identify safe havens on their children’s routes to school, such as trusted neighbors or local businesses, police said. Police also advise calling the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy Implementation Office, at (312) 747-9987, to find out about starting a Parent Patrol or a Walking School Bus Program.

Anyone with information on the assault is asked to call Wentworth Area police detectives, at (312) 747-8380.

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