Portsmouth schoolboy was waiting for mother when stranger struck

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A TERRIFIED young boy was grabbed by a stranger while waiting in a street for his mum after school.

The nine-year-old was in Laburnum Grove, Copnor, between 3pm and 4pm on Thursday, when he was grabbed with both arms by a man who he did not know.

It just shows that we’ve got to be vigilant for our children at all times

Margaret Beel, school principal

The boy kicked the man in the legs and managed to flee the area.

Now the incident has sparked a major police hunt for the attacker, described as being white, muscular and 5ft 9in with a skinny face.

The youngster attends Lyndhurst Junior School.

Its principal Margaret Beel said: ‘I’m surprised because Portsmouth is a built-up area.

‘It just shows that we’ve got to be vigilant for our children at all times, even at peak times during the day.

‘It’s really important we have our sessions in school about keeping safe and stranger danger.’

A counsellor is now offering support to the youngster, who was left distressed.

Parents at the school were sent a text message in the afternoon after the incident happened and teachers handed out leaflets to parents the next morning.

‘Stranger danger’ assemblies have since been held.

Detective Constable Lorraine Bell said: ‘At this stage it is not clear what this man’s intentions were but this incident was understandably distressing for the young boy.

‘Although this type of incident is rare we have stepped up patrols in the area to reassure residents and would urge anyone with information to contact us.’

The man had a grey beard and messy grey hair which was in a bob-style.

He was wearing a light grey T-shirt with an 
emblem on it, trousers, work boots and a light-brown flat cap.

He had rings on his left hand and had spots on his forehead.

Det Con Bell added: ‘This incident happened at the end of the school day so there are likely to have been several people around who may have seen this incident or a man matching this description.

‘We would like to speak to anyone who may have seen this man hanging around in the area or who thinks they know who he is.’

Witnesses should call police on 101, quoting 44160348934.