CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are investigating an attempted kidnapping that occurred Thursday just before noon at McMullen Creek Greenway on Pineville-Matthews Road.
Officers say the suspect pulled a knife on the 16-years-old victim, and tried to pull her into the woods.
"She was crying, so as I got next to her. I said she must have got some bad news about something, she said can you help me, I said what's wrong," said Frances DeJurnett.
DeJurnett was walking on the trail when she came across the teen.
"Well, she was crying, she was shaking, one of her earrings had come out of her ear, and her knees were sort of bruised, she said he threw her in the bushes."
DeJurnett called 911. Before officers arrived the teen told her how the suspect tackled her from behind.
"She said that when he approached her, he approached her from the back, put his hand around her neck and pulled out a knife and drug her to the woods."
The attack didn't go as the suspect planned, the teen fought back and managed to break away.
"You're walking on the Greenway by yourself, you're listening to your music, all of a sudden somebody comes out of nowhere and blindsides you and tries to drag you off, you don't expect that to happen," said CMPD South Division Captain Jim Wilson.
Police usually advise victims not to fight back, but Wilson applauded the teen's bravery.
"So it was a tremendous effort on her part-- I believe it saved something more horrible from happening," he said.
Police have added extra bike patrols in the Greenway, and they are looking for the suspect described as a black or Latino male in his mid-20s weighing about 190 pounds.
They are urging joggers or walkers to use the buddy system and not come to the trail alone.