A MANHUNT has been launched for an attacker who is ‘clearly a danger to the public’.
The police helicopter was out searching for a man who flagged down a female driver and dragged her into an alleyway in Selsey at 8.30pm yesterday (July 22).
The victim managed to fight the man off and get back to her car and escape.
Detective Inspector Alan Pack said: “This was a terrifying experience for the victim. She is very shocked but has thankfully only suffered cuts and bruises and specially-trained officers are supporting her.
“We need to find this man urgently because he is clearly a danger to the public.
“It could be that he has a vehicle but the fact that he was willing to take such a risk as attacking a woman in daylight suggests he may know the area and knew what his escape route would be.”
The 21-year-old woman was driving in Fontwell Road when the man waved to her and signalled her to stop.
According to police, he told her there appeared to be a problem with her car but when she got out to check her vehicle the man grabbed her and dragged her into an alleyway that runs between Fontwell Road and Gillway.
After she fought him off and escaped, the attacker fled down the alleyway towards Gillway.
Officers are currently in the area looking for witnesses and crime scene investigators are collecting evidence from Fontwell Road and the alleyway.
Extra patrols have also been sent into the area to look for the man and to speak to any residents about what they might have seen or heard.
The police helicopter is also being used in the search.
At this stage the incident is not being linked to any others, according to police.
The man was white and was wearing a cap and tracksuit bottoms.
DI Pack added: “We need to speak to anyone who was in or around the Fontwell Road area at about 8.30pm who could have seen the man hanging around before the attack or could have seen him stop the victim’s car.
“If he lived locally he could have been home within a few minutes so if he lives with someone they may have noticed that he looked like he had been running or seemed distracted when he returned.
“If you have any information at all, please contact us urgently.
“I would also urge drivers not to stop for people they do not know. If you do need to stop in an emergency, please try to do so in a well-lit area where there are other people.”
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting serial 1651 of July 22, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111
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