A YOUNG boy was grabbed by a man who fled only when the youngster kicked him.
The nine-year-old was in Laburnum Grove, Copnor, Portsmouth on Thursday between 3pm and 4pm when he was approached.
Hampshire police said the man - who he did not know - put both arms around the boy.
Detective Constable Lorraine Bell said: '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.
'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 was white, about 5ft 9ins tall, muscular but with a skinny face.
He 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, trousers, work boots and a light brown flat cap.
He had rings on his left hand and had spots on his forehead.
Call police on 101 quoting 4160348934