A nine-year-old schoolgirl riding her bike has been targeted in a terrifying abduction attempt in Melbourne’s northeast.
The girl was en route to Mernda Primary School when she was approached by a man at about 9am.
The man, believed to be in his 50s, produced a knife and grabbed the girl’s bike, threatening to stab her.
The girl managed to break free after her mother called on her mobile phone and ran to her school where she reported the abduction attempt.
Dozens of police swamped the area in a massive manhunt.
The incident that has shocked local families of the normally quiet suburban neighbourhood.
“You feel safe in a community like this so to know that kind of thing is happening in the community is kind of sickening really,” one resident said.
“(I feel) scared that someone like this is in the community and scaring the kids,” another said.
A man has been taken into custody where he is being questioned by detectives from the sexual offences and child abuse investigation team.
Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen the incident to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.