Whitehall police are seeking the public’s help in identifying an unknown man who reportedly attempted to abduct a girl walking to school Monday, Jan. 14, in the 500 block of South Hamilton Road.

The 12-year-old girl was walking to school at 7:50 a.m. Jan. 14 when she cut through the back of a lot at 510 S. Hamilton Road, adjacent to an apartment building. That's where a man reportedly followed her and attempted to engage her in conversation, police said.

Once close enough to her, the man grabbed the girl's backpack, police said.

The girl dropped the backpack and ran back to her residence, reports said.

Whitehall police are seeking information from anyone who might have seen the incident or a man in the area with a backpack.

The suspect is described as Hispanic, about 30 years old and 5 feet 10 inches tall

He is described as clean shaven and having a thin build, and was last seen wearing khaki pants, a black coat and hood.

The missing backpack is described as a purple drawstring bag with strings that alternate purple and white stripes, police said.

“This is a good opportunity for parents to sit down with their children and go over safety protocols when walking alone or to school," Whitehall police Deputy Chief Dan Kelso said.

Kelso cautioned parents to remind children not to take shortcuts away from populated areas and to run away in the event of any danger.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Whitehall Division of Police at 614-237-6333.