Police on Monday released a composite sketch of a man wanted in connection with the kidnapping and attempted sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl in South Los Angeles.
Last Thursday about 6:10 p.m., police said the teen was walking home from Freemont High School when a man approached her on Gage Avenue near San Pedro Street (map) and forced her into a white van at knifepoint.
The man drove the girl to another location, where he attempted to sexually assault her, police said.
The kidnapper later drove to an alley in the area of Imperial Highway and New Hampshire Avenue, where the girl was able to run away, police said.
A worker at a liquor store said the girl was wearing only a blouse and soaking wet with gasoline when she ran into the store.
"This young girl came running over here saying, 'They’re gonna kill me, they’re gonna kill me,'" store clerk Jose Pulido said. "Her cheeks were almost burning up. With gas. Because gas is a chemical, right? And she was crying and she was panicking."
Pulido said that neighbors called police and helped the victim clean up and get clothed.
"It’s sad, it’s sad. But this is South LA. And you know, a lot of things happen. But I never seen anything like that," Pulido said.
The kidnapper was described as a 20- to 33-year-old African-American man with black hair and brown eyes. He was about 5 foot 7 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds.
The van was described as a white cargo van with two doors to the rear and on the passenger side. The van had U-Haul lettering and the numbers 19.95 posted on the rear, police said.
Anyone with information was asked to call police at 877-527-3247.