Halifax Regional Police say they're looking for a scruffy man with pot belly after a woman managed to fight off an attacker near the Halifax Common on Tuesday afternoon.

The woman was walking near the corner of Falkland and Maynard streets when a man in a red minivan tried to grab her at around 3:30 p.m., police said.

Barry Jenkins happened to be on the street at the same time and told CBC News he witnessed the scene.

"He got out of the van, grabbed her by the hair and the arm and tried to put her in the van," he said Thursday.

Jenkins said the woman hit her attacker and ran away from him down the street, towards a house.

Police said the woman reported the incident immediately. She wasn't injured.


Barry Jenkins told CBC News he witnessed the attempted abduction. (CBC)

The suspect is described as six feet tall with a pot belly, a scruffy grey beard and brown eyes. He was wearing a blue baseball hat, dark sweatshirt and blue jeans. The woman told police he had a scratchy voice and smelled of strong cologne.

The woman didn't know her attacker, said police.

Halifax Regional Police Const. Pierre Bourdages said they had to do due diligence before telling the public about the incident and that took two days.

"The information was released as soon as we could," he said. "We're confident that this is a proper description."

Anyone with information about is asked to call Crime Stoppers or the police.