Police searching for man suspected of trying to kidnap girl outside Mid-City elementary school

A man suspected of a "brazen daytime attempted kidnap of a school girl'' near her elementary school in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles was sought Friday by police.

About 7:45 a.m. Thursday, the suspect approached the victim as she walked to school in the 1700 block of Vineyard Avenue and stood directly behind her, causing the victim to turn, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department.

The victim attempted to continue walking to Alta Loma Elementary School when the suspect grabbed her backpack and said "Let's go,'' the statement said.

The girl managed to slip out of her backpack and run to the school.

The suspect was last seen running southbound on Vineyard Avenue and out of sight. School staff searched the area for the suspect, but he was not found, the LAPD said.

The suspect was described as black, between 30 and 35, 6 feet 2, with a medium build. He has curly black hair with red tips and was wearing a blue shirt and black pants, police said.

"I just give this young girl so much credit for having the composure to number one -- run away. And to number two -- to look back and get a good look at the suspect," said LAPD Capt. Tim Nordquist. "So this little girl, she was the wrong person to mess with because she knew what to do."

During a press conference Friday morning, LAPD urged parents in the community to remind their children about the dangers of walking to school alone.

"I think it's good to walk your children to school if you can but that's not always possible with peoples work schedules," Capt. Nordquist said. "If students can walk together in a group, I think that's important. I think that's one of the good things about this incident yesterday, is that this young student was not alone. She was walking to school with other friends and together they were able to run away -- which I think is important. Walk together with other students, don't walk to school alone."

Anyone with information about this attempted kidnapping was asked to call LAPD Wilshire Division Robbery Detective D. Slater at 213-922-8217 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

CNS contributed to this report.