Police suspect a youth who stalked and indecently assaulted a 17-year-old female walking through Pirimai on Thursday may live in the area and parents with children who walk to school are being advised to take care.
"With school starting again, it is concerning," Hawke's Bay CIB Detective Sergeant Emmet Lynch said.
While it was still early in the investigation, police were looking at a strong possibility the culprit lived not far from where the assault took place.
"We need families to be aware he may live in this area."
The young woman had been at a friend's house and was heading home along McGregor Ave about 11.30am when she first became aware of the youth's presence as she neared the intersection with Shearer Place. He was riding a black BMX-style bicycle.
As she walked into Allen Berry Ave he had continued to follow her at a distance.
She had walked through an alleyway into Woodhouse Place and that was when he moved in.
Mr Lynch said the young woman said he spoke briefly to her then "stood right up close" before indecently assaulting her.
She had pushed him away and run towards nearby shops while he cycled back in the direction he had followed her from.
The young woman, distressed and shaken, had gone to a shop and asked to use the phone to call her parents.
They had collected her quickly and contacted police.
The youth was described as of Maori descent, about 15 years old, 170-175cm tall and of slight build. He was wearing a black singlet with a distinctive red, yellow and green band around the neck. He was also wearing black knee-length shorts.
The young woman described him as having a "young-sounding voice".
Mr Lynch said the victim was helping build up a sketch of what the youth looked like.
Detectives were hoping to have a sketch compiled for release over the next couple of days.
Anyone with any information that might lead to identifying the culprit is asked to contact Napier police on 8310700 or anonymously to the confidential Crimeline 0800 555 111.