Police believe the suspect may still be hiding in the area. Every vehicle leaving the Berkeley Marina Tuesday evening was searched. Police say a child under the age of 10 was playing at the Adventure Playground around 1:30 p.m. But the child apparently left the fenced-in playground and was sexually assaulted in a nearby restroom.
"That's horrible to hear; I've been here my whole life, I've never heard anything like that happening, so I'm shocked," Oakland resident Pamlea Wilson said.
The child gave police a description of the suspect.
"At the time of the assault, he was wearing a dark green shirt, dark jeans and black shoes," Berkeley Police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said. He's described as African-American with one very distinct feature: blonde hair with green streaks.
"It's kind of just weird that sort to happen in the middle of the day in a place where there's so much foot traffic," Berkeley resident Jeremy Estrada said.
Police searched the entire marina area, but they think he may have disappeared into the brush where several homeless people are camped out.
"The people that live back there don't like child molesters," a homeless man named CJ told ABC7 News.
If the suspect is still hiding there, CJ says he won't be welcome.
"If he's out there, they're going to find him and tell you because he got to go," CJ said.
Police won't say where the child's parents were at the time of the attack, only that the child is physically OK and with family.
Berkeley police are asking for anyone with information on this case to call detectives at: 1 (510) 981-5735