A search was underway Wednesday for a suspect who forced his way into a Banning home and sexually assaulted a girl before one of her family members came to her aid, prompting the assailant to flee.

The attack happened about 3 p.m. Tuesday in the 500 block of North Hathaway Street, near Morongo Road, according to the Banning Police Department.

Agency spokeswoman Sol Avila said that the victim, whose identity was not disclosed, was home alone when the man broke inside and assaulted her.

“The suspect was forcibly removed from assaulting the victim by a family member, who arrived home,” Avila said.

She said the assailant bolted from the residence, running away in an unknown direction, as the family member called 911.

Patrol officers arrived moments later and immediately began scouring the area, trying to locate the man. According to Avila, they came up empty but found witnesses who said they had seen the suspect riding a bicycle in the neighborhood in the past.

The suspect was described as Black, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall, thinly built with dreadlocks tied in multi-colored beads. He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with black writing on the front, as well as dark-colored shorts and slip-on sandals.

Anyone with information was asked to contact investigators at 951-922-3170.

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