Girl chased through Leverhulme Park in Bolton

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1 day ago / Alex Peace, Crime reporter /

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A TERRIFIED 12-year-old girl was chased through a park by a man who told her that he ‘wanted her’.

The man grabbed the youngster’s leg when she tripped running away from him in Leverhulme Park, Breightmet.

The girl’s mother is now warning other parents to be vigilant following the incident on Wednesday evening at about 6pm.

She said: “There was a man nearby and he just shouted ‘hello’ and she said ‘hi’ back.

“Then he went over to her. He asked if she was ok and what her name was and she just ignored him.”

The girl, who was waiting in the park to meet a friend, then got up but the man blocked her from going in the direction towards the play park. She ran towards the wooded area when she fell over.

Her mum added: “She tripped and fell and he grabbed her leg. He said ‘come here, I want you’ and ‘your mum sent me to pick you up’. She kicked out at him and she ran off.”

The girl then sent a text message to her mum to say that someone was chasing her.

The mum added: “I rang her. She told me she was in Leverhulme Park in the forest somewhere. I told her to try and head towards the road and I would come and get her. ”

The girl hid behind a tree in the woods until she heard the man stop shouting and then ran away and escaped.

Her mum said: “I kept her on the phone while she was running away and she came out at the cemetery near Tonge Moor and I picked her up.”

The girl was unharmed but but was left ‘quite shaken and scared’.

The mum said: “I’ve always said to her don’t go out alone and now she knows why I say it. As I was going for her I had all sorts going through my head. I was glad to get her in the car.”

The mum is now warning other parents to be on alert following the incident, which she described as ‘terrifying’.

A police spokesman confirmed that officers were called at around 8.25pm on Wednesday to a report that a man had approached a 12-year-old girl in Leverhulme Park.

Chief Inspector Tom Martin, for GMP’s Bolton borough, said: “Incidents of this nature are thankfully rare and I want to make it clear to the community that we are taking this report extremely seriously.

“It is being treated as an isolated incident and it has been flagged to our neighbourhood team who regularly carry out patrols in the area and have a great relationship with the public.

“We have also increased patrols over the weekend, so if you see officers about and have any concerns then please feel to approach them and they will try and help in any way they can.

“We are aware of other reports circulating on social media and we would encourage these people to report it to police by calling 101.”

An investigation has been launched into the incident and enquiries are continuing.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the park that night is asked to contact police on 101.

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