Staff at Washington Elementary School called police at 2:20 p.m. Tuesday to report that a student had told a teacher that a strange man had approached her on her way to school that morning, police said.
The student had said the man had walked up to her near Eighth Street and Central Avenue and touched her, according to police.
The girl was able to get away from the man with the help of an unidentified woman, and the man then ran away, police said.
Police are still trying to locate the woman who helped the girl.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic man about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, weighing 180 to 230 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a black T-shirt and blue jeans.
Police are investigating the case as an attempted kidnapping.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Lt. Sean Lynch at (510) 337-8424, Sgt. Joe McNiff at (510) 337-8317 or the Police Department's main number at (510) 337-8311.