Parents in the area were being notified. There are two elementary schools and a middle school near the campus of Valley High, less than a mile from where the alleged abduction attempt took place.
Police say the teen girl was walking to Valley High when a man identified as Moises Rendon allegedly got out of a parked car and approached her.
"He has gloves on and he has a rag in his hand. In talking to the detectives she told them that she felt a presence. She looked around, the suspect was actually reaching around with the hand that had the rag in it towards her face," said Santa Ana Police Corporal Anthony Bertagna.
A neighbor who only wanted to be identified as "Jessie" says he saw the girl break away from the suspect. The girl was screaming and shaking. Jessie yelled for her to come into his house for safety.
"The lady go to run, 'Ahh.' I said 'Come in, come in, into my home," said Jessie. "My wife called the police."
Jessie says the suspect jumped back into the passenger seat of a red Toyota Corolla with spoiler on the trunk. An unidentified man was driving.
Police say a witness followed the car down the street to Rendon's home. Police later arrested Rendon, 28, at a residence on the 1400 block of Sullivan.
Police say Rendon is a husband and a father. He faces a charge of attempted kidnapping.
Detectives continued to search for the driver. Nearby schools were alerting parents and students of the attempted kidnapping.
Students are being reminded to stay alert and take precautions.
"I actually don't go out at night unless somebody is with me, always like the buddy system, so it's not just walk by yourself and expect nothing to happen," said student Brianna Ascencio.
If you have information related to this case, contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.