POLICE are hunting a knife-wielding child predator who tried to snatch a young girl in Sydney’s inner west – it’s the fourth attempted abduction and attack on a child in seven days.
The 11-year-old was approached by a man on Bartlett Street in Summer Hill just after 8.30am on Thursday.
The man, dressed in a long black coat, allegedly pulled out a knife and tried to grab the girl, but she ran away.
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Police released a statement shortly after 6pm, appealing for public assistance to help locate the man.
“The man produced a knife from his coat and coaxed the girl to come over to him,” police said in a statement.
“The girl turned to run away, at which point the man reached out and tried to grab her, but missed.”
The little girl ran to her school where she reported the incident to her teacher.
The man was described by the child as being Asian in appearance, 30-40 years old, 165cm tall, with short black hair, brown skin, brown eyes, and a red mark on the right side of his face.
He was wearing a long black coat that hung past his knees, black pants and a red and blue coloured chequered shirt.
It’s the fourth attack on a child in Sydney in the last week.
Last Thursday afternoon, a 15-month-old boy was almost abducted from the Macquarie Street Mall in Liverpool.
The toddler was playing in a children’s play area while his mother watched on from a short distance when a man picked him up and started walking away.
The boy’s mother screamed out in terror and ran after the man to retrieve her child. Police said the man released the boy and fled the scene.
Then, on Saturday morning, a five-year-old girl was approached by a man on Wentworth Park Road at Glebe.
It was just before 8.30am when the man walked up to the little girl and indecently assaulted her.
She screamed out to her mother causing the man to run away.
Police were then called to another terrifying incident on Tuesday afternoon, this time at the Pioneers Memorial Park on Norton Street in Leichhardt.
In scenes similar to the attempted abduction at Liverpool, a man casually approached a three-year-old girl, grabbed her by the hand and walked away with her.
The girl’s mother, who was standing nearby, let out an almighty scream after looking up and seeing the man taking her daughter. She gave chase and retrieved her little girl and the man fled the scene.
Despite conducting extensive searches and inquiries, police have been unable to locate an offender.
The man who tried taking the 15-month-old boy from Liverpool was described as Mediterranean/Middle Eastern appearance, about 45-years-old, medium build and clean shaven, with black hair combed back.
He was wearing a black woolen long-sleeved jacket.
The man who assaulted the five-year-old girl in Glebe on Saturday was described by the child as being Indian Sub-Continental appearance, about 165-170cm tall, with a slim build and black hair.
He was wearing a white t-shirt with a black motif on the chest and grey tracksuit pants.
Meanwhile, the man behind Tuesday’s incident was described by the toddler’s mother as being of Indian appearance, about 170cm tall, with a thin build, short black hair and no facial hair.
He was wearing a red t-shirt, black tracksuit pants and white shoes.
Anyone with any information regarding either incident is urged to come forward and contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page at nsw.crimestoppers.com.au
The information provided will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
The incidents have triggered a warning from police, urging parents to discuss the ‘Safe People, Safe Places’ messages with their children.
- Make sure your parents or another adult you know knows where you are at all times.
- Always walk straight home or to the place you are walking to. Walk near busier roads and streets, or use paths where there are lots of other people.
- Know where safe places are – a shop, service station, police station, library or school. If you are ever frightened, you should go to one of these places and ask them to call the police.
- Learn about safe adults you can look for and talk to if you need help – police officers, teachers at school, adults you know and trust.
- Don’t talk to people you don’t know and never get into a car with someone you don’t know. If a car stops on the side of the road and you don’t know the person inside, do not stop.
- If you are scared and can use a phone, call 000 and tell them you are scared.
- If someone tries to grab you, yell out, ‘Go away, I don’t know you’. This lets other people know you have been approached by someone you don’t know.