A boy is reported to have fought off a man who tried to kidnap him in a Hove street.
Sussex Police praised the 14-year-old, from Hangleton, for doing the right thing.
The man is said to have grabbed the boy but the boy used his tennis racquet to repeatedly hit the stranger until he let go.
The attempted abduction is said to have happened in Nevill Avenue, at the Hangleton Road end, near the Grenadier pub and shops.
Sussex Police said: “Officers were called to Nevill Avenue at about 3.15pm on Friday 29 July after a report of an attempt to abduct a 14-year-old local boy.
“While walking along the boy had been approached by a man driving a car who asked the boy if he wanted a lift.
“He refused and the man is reported to have made a grab for him from within the car.
“But the boy managed to get away from the offender who then drove away in the direction of the Grenadier pub in what is described as a gun-metal grey medium-sized car with tinted windows.”
The boy was walking towards Hove Park for a tennis lesson at the time of the incident.
When he reached the tennis courts there he called the police.
The driver is said to have driven past the boy, turned his car round and mounted the kerb before asking whether he wanted a lift.
After the boy fought him off, the driver did a u-turn and drove off towards the Grenadier pub.
A CCTV camera in Hangleton Road is positioned close to the junction with Nevill Avenue and officers are expected to be checking it for clues about the driver and his car.
Sussex Police did not link the incident to other recently reported incidents in Brighton and Hove although a connection has not been ruled out.
A spokesman said that parents and children be aware of possible approaches by strangers.
He added: “The boy reacted by doing the right thing.
“Our advice is to raise the alarm as soon as possible by contacting a responsible adult.
“Parents and public should not confront anyone themselves but they should try to obtain as much detail as possible including the registration number of any car and a description of the person.
“In recent weeks increased media coverage and visits to schools by police officers to talk about stranger danger has seen an increase in reports of this nature from extra-vigilant children and parents who have been phoning police with good intent to report potentially suspicious incidents.
“The majority of these calls have been found to have an innocent explanation but we look at every report in detail and further investigate those that are considered to be suspicious.
“With the start of the summer holidays, police are also carrying out patrols in areas where children are likely to gather as part of our usual summer holiday neighbourhood policing activities.”
Any witnesses or anyone with information is urged to contact Sussex Police on 0845 6070999.