A girl on her way to high school in Riverside Thursday was confronted by a man who attempted to compel her to follow him, then fled when she refused, police said.

The Arlington High School student told investigators that she was on Jackson Street, nearing Saguaro Road, about 7:45 a.m. when she was accosted.

Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback said the suspect approached and called the girl from behind.

“The man told the victim to go with him and made threats to harm her if she did not, or if she tried running away,” Railsback said. “As the victim backed away from the suspect, he fled south on Jackson Street towards Lincoln Avenue.”

The girl reached the campus a short time later and told staff what had occurred.

Railsback said a school resource officer initiated an investigation, requesting assistance from the police department’s Sexual Assault Child Abuse unit.

SACA detectives said the suspect is black, thinly built, in his 20s, standing about 5-feet-7 inches, with a possible teardrop tattoo beneath his right eye. There was additional tattooing on his right cheek, but the marks were unclear. The man was wearing a blue camouflage jacket, dark jeans and black beanie hat.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Officer Ian Crocker at (951) 353-7947.

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