Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Girl escapes after being grabbed in Hayling Island

A schoolgirl managed to escape after being grabbed by a stranger as she walked along a bridlepath in Hampshire.

The 14-year-old was walking on the path on Hayling Island between Mengham Lane and Salterns Lane at about 2130 BST on Sunday when the man approached her.

The man, described as being white, of skinny build and about 40-years-old, grabbed the girl's wrist.

The victim kicked the suspect, managed to break free and run off.

Hampshire police said the victim ran away in the direction of Salterns Lane while the suspect left in the direction of Mengham Lane.

The man was thought to be about 6ft tall with messy white or grey hair.

He was unshaven with white stubble, wearing a black hooded jumper and and baggy jeans.

Det Insp Wendy Priston said: "This incident has left the young girl very understandably shaken and upset. While she did not come to any harm, we are very keen to track down this man quickly, as this kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable.

"This kind of incident is extremely rare, but residents should take precautions when walking out at this time of night. Always try to arrange to walk with others, or arrange to be picked up in a vehicle. Always try to walk on well lit main roads."

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