Masked man grabs screaming girl, 10, and tries to drag her away on way to school

A masked man tried to grab a 10-year-old girl and drag her away as she made her way to school, police have said.

The young girl kicked and screamed after being grabbed around the waist from behind by the man, who then ran off.

The incident happened on Sandy Lane, in Perry Barr, Birmingham, at 8.15am on Tuesday, West Midlands Police said.

The man was described as around 20 years old, tall and thin, the force said.

At the time of the incident, he was wearing black clothes, a black cap, leather gloves, big back boots, a mesh-type mask and was carrying a black rucksack.

Police said the girl, who managed to escape and is now safe, feels “shaken”, but is not physically hurt.

After the incident, she also provided a statement to assist the force with their investigation.

The girl’s school, Arena Academy, issued an alert to parents following the incident, Birmingham Live reports.

Deputy head Claire Kilroy wrote in an email on Wednesday: “We were made aware of an incident yesterday morning involving one of our students.

“On the way to school a student was approached and grabbed by a man wearing a balaclava on Sandy Lane in Great Barr.

“The man was dressed all in black and the incident happened at 8:15am.

“The police are involved and we are in touch with them, if you have any further information regarding this incident or would like to talk to someone, please email me or report your concerns directly to the police on 101.”

West Midlands Police said in a statement: “We’re investigating after a girl was grabbed by a man as she made her way to school on Tuesday morning (September 27).

“It happened on the grassy area in Sandy Lane, near Booths Lane, in Perry Barr at 8.15am.

“The girl was grabbed around the waist from behind by a man who attempted to drag her. She kicked out and screamed and the attacker ran off.

“He’s described as around 20-years-old, tall and thin. He was wearing all black clothing as well as a black cap, leather gloves, big back boots and a mesh type mask. He was carrying a black rucksack.

“The girl, aged 10, is understandably shaken, but is safe and we are supporting her. She’s bravely given us a statement to assist our investigation.

“We’re trawling local CCTV and enquiries are ongoing, we’d ask anyone who was in the area and may have seen a man matching this description to contact us.

“Fortunately incidents like this are extremely rare, but we’ve increased patrols in the area and our schools link officer has attended the nearby school to offer reassurance and advice.

“Any witnesses or anyone who saw a man acting suspiciously nearby is asked to get in touch with us via Live Chat on our website or by calling 101.