A 14-year-old Whakatane girl was attacked an unknown man as she walked to school.

Senior Sergeant Bruce Jenkins said the girl was walking near the pedestrian bridge on Awatapu Lagoon at 7.45am yesterday when she was grabbed.

"As she broke free from the man, he fell off his bike," Mr Jenkins said.

Another man walking near the lagoon came to her aid.


The offender is a European man in his late 30s, with light brown hair, flat on top and frizzy at the bottom, and with facial hair under his chin. He is of medium height and build, and was wearing a baggy, creamy tan-coloured hoodie and baggy polar fleece pants of a similar colour.

He was riding an old mountainbike with scratches on it.

"Police are wanting to speak to anyone that may know who this offender is, has seen the incident or seen someone fitting the description," Mr Jenkins said.

Contact (07) 308 5255 or Crime Stoppers on (0800) 555 111.