The Long Beach Police Department is asking community members to remain vigilant after a man attempted to kidnap a 12-year-old girl walking near Washington Middle School on Thursday morning.
The girl was walking around 8:30 a.m. in the area of Anaheim Street and Cedar Avenue when the man approached her, wrapped his arms around her and attempted to move her, police said.
However, the girl was able to free herself and run away before reporting the incident, police said, adding that she was not injured during the interaction.
A spokesperson for the Long Beach Unified School District did not clarify whether the girl was a student at the middle school but said families and staff were notified of the incident.
The suspect, meanwhile, fled the scene on foot before officers arrived, according to authorities. Officers are currently working to identify and locate the suspect, and the investigation is ongoing, the LBPD said.
The LBPD’s West Division Patrol and the Neighborhood Safety Bike Team officers will be conducting additional patrols in the area, according to authorities, who suggested community members walk in pairs whenever possible, look after one another, and walk in high-traffic areas.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with information from the Long Beach Unified School District.