Girl lands punch, flees suburban assault

A teenage girl punched a man in the face as she tried to fight him off during an assault on a footbridge in Melbourne's south-east.

The girl, 16, was using the footbridge to cross the Nepean Highway in Gardenvale, from St James Parade, about 3.30pm on November 26.

But once she was at the bridge's end, a man approached her, grabbed her by the waist and tried to drag her into bushes on the side of the bridge, a police spokeswoman said.

The girl struggled free, but the man grabbed her again, this time to the shoulder. She then punched him in the face, which allowed her to escape.

She ran off, as did her attacker, who was seen running towards Spink Street.

Detectives from the Moorabin Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team have released an image of a man they want to speak with.

He is described as being of Mediterranean appearance, about 183 centimetres tall, unshaven with olive skin and aged between 30 and 35.

At the time, he was wearing a dark-blue hooded jumper with a zip, and dark-coloured pants.

Anyone with information is asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

This story Girl lands punch, flees suburban assault first appeared on The Age.