Phoenix police said they arrested a man suspected of attacking and trying to abduct a 15-year-old girl early Wednesday morning.
Robert Lawrence Allaire, 23, was arrested Thursday after he was seen leaving a home in the area of West South Mountain and South Seventh avenues in Phoenix, near the area where the girl said the attempted abduction took place, according to Officer James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department.
The teen was walking along West Winston Drive about 6:15 a.m. when Allaire allegedly jumped from an alleyway, grabbed her from behind and tried to pull her into the alley, Holmes said.
The victim was able to break free and strike her abductor in the face. She escaped, but lost her eyeglasses in the process, Holmes said.
The girl reported what happened to her mother, who called police.
Police produced a flier that included a sketch of the suspect as provided by the victim and distributed it in the neighborhood.
An officer from the South Mountain Precinct saw a man who matched the sketch and an investigative team began following him, Holmes said. The suspect appeared to be a transient and was seen wandering aimlessly around the area talking to young women at bus stops.
Officers said they saw the suspect leave a house in a neighborhood just three streets from the original scene and close to the victim's residence. While the suspect was still under surveillance, a photo line-up was shown to the victim, who identified the suspect as the person who had attacked her, Holmes said.
Allaire was arrested by police and, during the interview with detectives, the suspect made admissions connecting him to the offense. Detectives said they believed the attempted kidnapping was sexually motivated.
Allaire was later booked into jail on suspicion of attempted kidnapping, attempted sexual assault and aggravated assault.
Holmes urged the public to be extra vigilant now that school is back in session.
[Click here for a list of back-to-school safety tips for parents and children.]
"The Phoenix Police Department has always held a special concern for the safety of our children, especially when a child is victimized by a predator," Holmes said. "School is back in session, let's all do our best to keep our young citizens safe."
Copyright 2012 CBS 5(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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