A man tried to abduct an 8-year-old girl outside a southwest Minneapolis elementary school on Tuesday evening.

The man grabbed the girl just outside of Lake Harriet Lower Elementary School, but she was able to escape and run back inside for help, said police spokeswoman Sgt. Darcy Horn.

Authorities described him as a white male, approximately 50 to 60 years old, about 6 feet tall with a thin build and a long black beard down to his chest. The attempted abduction happened around 5:30 p.m. in the area of 41st Street and Chowen Avenue S.

The suspect was last seen wearing a flat cap “newspaper-style” hat, black jacket and peach pants, police said.

KARE 11 News reporter Karla Hult posted on Facebook on Tuesday evening that her two young daughters attend the school and were there when a man grabbed one of their friends while they played hide and seek outside.

“The child screamed and kicked her way free, my daughters tell me, before the man took off running,” said Hult.

“I don’t think my girls understand the implications of what they witnessed,” she wrote. “But their mom, who’s reported often on [Jacob Wetterling’s] story, does. Giving them an extra kiss ... along with some safety reminders... before bed tonight. I encourage all of you to do the same with your beautiful babes, too ...”

Investigators are checking local surveillance video in the Linden Hills neighborhood and combing the area for evidence.

Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be texted to 847411 (TIP411). Enter MPD, a space, and then the information.

All tips are anonymous and information leading to an arrest could earn a financial reward.