A description of the man accused of dragging a 13-year-old girl off her bicycle and into bushland near Timaru last night has been released.
The attempted abduction, in Washdyke, near Timaru, was stopped by a nearby resident who saw the attack and went to the girl's aid.
Detective Senior Sergeant Marion Neill said the alleged offender is a male Caucasian, of dark complexion, aged in his twenties, approximately 174cm (5ft 8in) tall, clean-shaven, with dark hair and of solid build.
He was reported to be wearing a cap, a white hoodie with a grey triangular pattern and maroon jeans.
The girl had been riding her bike on State Highway 8 near Sir Basil Arthur Park when she was approached by the man.
A short time later he dragged her off her bike, across a fence and into an area of bush, Ms Neill said.
A witness from a nearby property went to help her and the assailant ran away. A police dog team was unable to find him but police said they were following "positive lines of enquiry".
Investigations into the incident today included completion of a scene examination at Sir Basil Arthur Park.
Police also examined a Mazda hatchback vehicle located there.
The victim was interviewed again today and was coping well, Ms Neill said.
"Police and the girl's family would like to acknowledge the actions of the witness, whose intervention may well have prevented a much more serious outcome."
Timaru police were continuing to appeal for information from anyone who was in the vicinity of Sir Basil Arthur Park between 7.45pm and 8.20pm yesterday, or who had any information regarding the incident. They were asked to contact Timaru Police on (03) 687 9808.