A suspected child snatcher was filmed near to the scene of a “frightening” attack on an eight-year-old girl from Brighton.
Detectives have published a still image taken by a security camera in the hope that someone will recognise the man believed to have tried to abduct the girl.
They are keen to hear from the man himself as they try to work out the reason for the daylight attack on the young girl in the North Laine area of Brighton.
Sussex Police said: “Detectives have released a CCTV image of a suspect they are seeking after an eight-year-old girl was attacked in Brighton city centre.
“The man is white, aged in his twenties, between 5ft 6in and 5ft 8in, slim with dark hair and was wearing jeans and a beige jacket.
“He appears to be holding a bottle in the image.
“He had followed the girl for a short distance as she walked home along Gloucester Road, Brighton, at about 8.25 am on Saturday morning (5 May) having been to post a letter at a letterbox in nearby North Road.
“Just after she turned the corner into Tidy Street he ran up and grabbed hold of her, pushing her to the ground, but fortunately this was seen by two passers-by who shouted at him and he ran off in the direction of Trafalgar Street.
“The girl was severely shocked and sustained some grazes but did not need hospital treatment.”
Detective Inspector Lee Horner said: “We have released this CCTV image of the suspect and and want to hear from anyone who recognises him.
“The motive for this attack is not clear and we are not currently linking this matter to any other incidents.
“It was a very frightening experience for the young girl and we need to find this man as quickly as possible.
“If you were in the area on Saturday morning and saw anything of what happened, or if you have any other information about the suspect, please contact us on 101 or online, quoting Operation Overdown.”