JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Jefferson County authorities want to find the man who tried to abduct a high school athlete in the middle of the day. It happened around 4 p.m. on Monday.

A Dakota Ridge High School athlete was running west on the dirt path on the north side of Hine Lake in the southwestern part of the Denver metro area when the man lunged at her, grabbing her around the waist with both arms. She was able to scream and run away safely.

(credit: CBS)

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Director of Public Affairs Jenny Fulton tells CBS4’s Mekialaya White the teen did the right thing, and shared a warning for athletes planning to visit the area in the near future.

“We recommend that athletes walk in pairs at a minimum, definitely be aware of your surroundings, just as she was,” Fulton said.

The victim’s family, who lives in Littleton, also issued a statement to CBS4, saying:

“We want the community to be aware and keep an eye out as this was a middle of the day attempt at a fairly active recreation area. We want to give our kiddo all the glory as she did everything right: she was aware of her surroundings, she got loud and got away. She didn’t make herself an easy target and told a trusted adult immediately.”

The suspect is described as a white man in his 30s, between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10, wearing jeans, a dark baseball cap, dark tennis shoes and an unknown colored shirt.

The sheriff’s office has initiated extra after-school patrols in the area as a result of the incident. Anyone with information or who may have seen the suspect should contact Investigator Donahue via the tip line at 303-271-5612.

Mekialaya White