KEYES -- Stanislaus County sheriff's officials Wednesday were looking for a man who tried to kidnap a girl who fought off her attacker Tuesday evening along a rural road west of Highway 99.
The Ceres girl narrowly escaped, and it appeared she did not suffer any serious injuries in the attack, said deputy Luke Schwartz, a sheriff's spokesman. Sheriff's officials did not release her age, fearing it could harm the investigation.
The attempted kidnapping occurred between 7 and 8 p.m. near Moffett and Turner roads, a few miles west of Keyes and south of Ceres.
Schwartz said the girl was walking alone when she was attacked by the man, who appeared to be alone in the car.
It was unclear why she was walking along the rural road. Investigators declined to release specific details about how the attack occurred.
Schwartz did say the girl escaped her attacker and avoided further injury after a brief struggle. The attacker, however, was not found.
He said the girl ran home, and the attack was reported to the Sheriff's Department shortly after 8 p.m. when deputies responded to the rural area.
The deputies and Ceres police officers checked the area, but did not find the attacker's vehicle.
Schwartz said the police officers reported seeing a car earlier that was similar to the attacker's vehicle heading north on Mitchell Road near East Redwood Road, less than a mile north of where the attack occurred.
Sheriff's officials described the attacker as La- tino, about 30 to 40 years old with a mustache and wearing a red T-shirt, black shorts and a blue cap. He had a tattoo on his left hand and was driving a large red car, possibly a late 1990s or early 2000s Lincoln Continental.
Sheriff's officials ask anyone with information about this incident or the suspect to call Family Crimes Unit Detective Kari Abbey at 525-7091 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters also can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.stancrimetips. org, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus a message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2394.