Police said the girl was walking eastbound in the 2900 block of Pico Boulevard just before 8:45 a.m. Sunday when the incident happened.
Investigators said the man was standing alongside a parked minivan with the passenger side door open. He grabbed the girl as she was walking and tried to force her inside. There was a struggle and the victim managed to free herself and run to a nearby restaurant for help.
The suspect fled the scene in a faded bluish-green mid-1990s minivan, possibly a Toyota Previa. The vehicle has a sliding passenger side door and rear tinted windows, and has a "Z" and "6" in the license plate.
The suspect was described as a male Hispanic, in his mid-to-late 30s, 5 feet 9 inches, stocky build, brown hair and "bushy" handlebar type mustache/goatee. The suspect was described as wearing a black T-shirt, dark blue jeans and black shoes.
Anyone with information was urged to call Santa Monica police at (310) 458-8959.