A manhunt is under way in National City after a girl reported an attempted abduction on Wednesday.
A 13-year-old girl said she was walking home alone from National City Middle School for the first time -- she usually walks with friends -- when a man in a dark-gray van pulled up near her in the 1500 block of Q Avenue. She said he got out and then grabbed her around the neck while holding a knife.
The teen said the man told her, "Get in the car or I'll cut you," but she said she fought him off, cutting her finger in the process.
"I gave him an elbow hit, and then I screamed, 'Let me go!' " the girl said.
The teenager said the man then fled in the van and she ran home and called police.
"I was really scared," the girl said. "I wasn't really processing what was going on ... until I'm like, 'This is really happening.' "
Later in the afternoon, police identified convicted sex offender Leonard Earl Scroggins, 32, as a suspect in the case. Scroggins, a Napa County resident, is currently on parole. Police said he cut off his GPS ankle device on Tuesday night. He is suspected of stealing a woman's purse earlier on Wednesday, according to investigators, who said the woman got Scroggins' license plate number as he fled. The National City teen reported the attack less than two hours later.
According to the Meghan's Law database of California's registered sex offenders, Scroggins, who was convicted of a rape "in concert with force/violence," is 6 feet tall and weighs 245 pounds. He has tattoos of words on his chest and both arms. He is believed to be drivng his mother's Nissan Quest van, which has California plate number 5GKE209.
The girl had minor abrasions on her neck as well but did not appear to be seriously injured otherwise.