By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Coon Rapids police say a teenager fought off a man who tried to kidnap her.

Police will be stepping up their patrol this weekend, working around the clock after a scary incident Friday morning.

Officers were called to the area of Coon Rapids Boulevard and Coon Rapids Boulevard Extension just after 9 a.m. A 16-year-old girl says she was riding her skateboard on a walking path when a man grabbed her, pulled her into the woods, sprayed her with a self-defense chemical, then tried to attack her.

The girl screamed, kicked and fought off the man, who ran away. Multiple law enforcement agencies, a drone and a police K-9 searched the area, but they couldn’t find the man.

“I want to make it clear. The survivor in this case did everything right. She fought, she screamed, she did everything she was supposed to do,” Police Captain Tom Hawley said. “While abductions and assaults of this nature are very rare, it’s an important reminder to tell you children to scream, fight and do everything they can to get out of a situation like this.”

Rollerblading on a warm summer night, 16-year-old friends Sibiah Mirieri and Taylor Falvey now the importance of sticking together when they’re out.

“Even like with my parents and my grandma, they’ve always taught me [to] trust my instinct,” Mirieri said.

After hearing about what happened to another 16-year-old girl just a few miles away, these high school students say they’ll be on alert.

“It makes me think more of who’s around me, and just my surroundings,” Falvey said. “It makes me want to be more cautious and more aware.”

The victim was treated by paramedics at the scene, and was released to her parents.

“Most assaults are by acquaintances, people that know each other, so this is very, very rare. In recent memory, we have had nothing like this occur in our community,” Police Captain Tom Hawley said. “My thoughts are I’d like to catch this guy and get him in custody.”

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says the suspect is a white male in his mid-30s with black hair, a slight beard and a thin frame. He was wearing a black Adidas sweatshirt with grey sleeves, and dark sweat pants.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Anoka County Dispatch at 763-427-1212.

Mary McGuire