A Berkeley woman was grabbed in an apparent kidnapping attempt on Friday March 7 in the 1200 block of San Pablo Avenue, between Harrison and Gilman streets. Image: Google Maps

The Berkeley Police are asking for the community’s help in finding a suspect in an attempted kidnapping.

On Friday, March 7, at about 10:20 p.m. a 23-year-old Berkeley woman was walking home along San Pablo Avenue from Solano Avenue in Albany, according to a statement released by police around 6 p.m. Monday.

The woman became aware of a man who appeared to be following her. Despite changing her route several times, the man continued to walk behind her.

When the woman pulled out her cellphone to call for help, the suspect grabbed her and forced her off the sidewalk and down a driveway in the 1200 block of San Pablo Avenue.

The woman clutched her purse and screamed for help. The man grabbed her around her waist and spoke to her in Spanish. Police did not report what he said. A passing motorist saw the woman in distress, stopped, and honked the car horn. The suspect released the woman and fled north on San Pablo. 

The man is described as Hispanic, 23-25 years old and 5 feet 5 to 5 feet 7 inches tall with a thin build and thin facial hair. He was wearing a white and red San Francisco 49ers baseball-style cap, black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and black and red tennis shoes.

Police ask anyone who may have had an encounter with this man — or who has any additional information — to call Berkeley Police Department Sex Crimes Detective Melissa Kelly at 510-981-5735.  Callers who wish to remain anonymous can reach Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...