A 12-YEAR-OLD boy was grabbed by the neck while walking through a park in a terrifying attempted abduction in Blackburn.

Detectives are now appealing for help after the incident which took place in Corporation Park, Blackburn.

Officers were first called at around 8.30am on Friday following reports that a 12-year-old boy had been walking through the park when he was approached from behind by a man.

He was then grabbed by the next and the man attempted to take him away.

But the boy managed to get free and run away, alerting a member of the public. The man was challenged by a member of the public and then ran off out of the park in the direction of Preston New Road.

Following enquiries, police now want to speak to Zakaria Elharak, 27, in connection with the investigation.

Elharak, who also goes by the name Zackaria El-Haouari, has links to Blackburn and Toxteth in Liverpool. He is described as being 5ft 4in – 5ft 6in tall, of medium build. He has a circular scar on the right side of his face and black hair.

Detective Inspector Martin Melvin, said: “This was clearly a distressing incident for the young boy. Thankfully incidents of this nature are relatively rare, however we are treating it extremely seriously and have a number of resources dedicated to the investigation.

“We want to speak to Zakaria Elharak as part of our enquiries. If you have seen him or know where he may be, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. I would also urge Zakaria, if he sees this, to come and speak to us.”

If you have any information that could help, please call police on 101 quoting log number 271 of 6 September. Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers.org.uk