Young schoolgirl fights off male stranger who grabbed her waist in ‘kidnap bid’

A primary schoolgirl fought off a hooded stranger who grabbed her by the waist in a suspected kidnap attempt in broad daylight.

Police are hunting him and another man he was with after the brave youngster kicked the creep and was able to run away in Ashford, Kent, at 3.15pm on Thursday.

A spokesman for Kent Police said: "Information and CCTV footage is being sought after a girl was approached by a man not known to her in Ashford.

"At around 3.15pm on Thursday 22 April 2021, a girl of primary school age had been riding her push scooter on a path near Elm Place when two men appeared from the direction of Beaver Lane.

"One of the men approached her and, as she bent down to pick up her scooter, the man reportedly put his hands on her waist.

"The victim kicked out and was able to run away without further issue."

A statement added: "The suspect was seen to leave down an alleyway which leads to Cryol Road.

"He is described as being aged in his mid-20s with brown or ginger hair swept to one side."

It went on: "He was wearing all dark-coloured clothing including a long-sleeved hooded top, tracksuit bottoms, face mask and black trainers. He reportedly had a tattoo on his left hand.

"The second man, who left in the direction of Deans Walk, is also described as wearing all black, including a fabric face mask."

Both men were said to be of slim build and police are appealing for witnesses "who may have CCTV, doorbell or dashcam footage that could assist our inquiries".

Meanwhile, an urgent hunt has been launched for a schoolboy who fell from London's Tower Bridge and into the River Thames on his way to school.

In a letter to parents, Ark Globe Academy Principal Matt Jones said the Year 8 student got off the bus near Tower Bridge and "fell into the River Thames" on Tuesday morning.

The pupil is said to have been wearing his full uniform at the time of the incident, which happened after he got off his morning bus a stop early – before his usual stop close to the school in Elephant and Castle.

He and a friend had taken the bus together on Tuesday morning, but the boy failed to show up at the south London school, Mr Jones wrote.

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