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10-year-old OC girl flees sexual assault

April 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 10-year-old girl managed to fight off a man who Fullerton Police say tried to sexually assault her. Police are asking for the public's help to track down the suspect.

The incident occurred Wednesday at about 12:30 p.m. on Hetebrink St. near Hopping St.

By all appearances, the northwest Fullerton neighborhood where the attack happened is safe, kid-friendly and filled with young families. That may be why a suspected molester chose the 2200 block of Hetebrink St. to find a victim to attack.

Fullerton Police say the suspect pulled up in a large Expedition-type SUV and used a common ploy: He told the girl he needed help -- something about directions, though investigators won't specify.

"I'm sure that she had received appropriate parenting, but something got her, something clicked with her to make her feel comfortable to get in the car with this man," said Fullerton Police Capt. Alex Bastreri.

The girl agreed to join him in the back seat to help him. After five minutes he sexually assaulted her.

"He had closed the door, but she wasn't physically restrained in the vehicle, so when she saw the opportunity, she opened the door and ran," said Bastreri.

Police are looking for a Korean male, between 17 and 19 years old, standing 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds, with black hair and wearing a white T Shirt and denim shorts, with a long silver keychain attached.

Police are confident they will catch the suspect. Detectives have physical evidence, but would not say what kind.

There is also video evidence from nearby businesses and homes rigged with cameras.

"In my estimation she is very lucky, being only 10 years old, being inside his vehicle, and her having the presence of mind to seize the opportunity to get out when she did was fortunate on her part," said Bastreri.

Anyone with information about the suspect or the attack was asked to contact Fullerton Police at (714) 738-6715 or (714) 738-6358.