Man wanted over Melbourne kidnap attempt

Police have released footage of a man they want over an abduction attempt of a woman in Melbourne.
Police have released footage of a man they want over an abduction attempt of a woman in Melbourne.

Before a man followed her to her Melbourne apartment door, covered her face with his hand and tried to pull her away, Colombian international student "Sarah" felt strong.

Although she managed to narrowly escape abduction or assault in the terrifying ordeal, the 23-year-old now doesn't feel safe.

"I used to be a really strong woman, to stay here," she told reporters through tears in Melbourne on Tuesday.

"I really want to feel the same."

Early on Saturday morning a stranger followed her for at least three blocks as she made her way home from a nightclub near the corner of King Street and Little Collins Street in Melbourne's CBD.

The first security footage showing both Sarah - who has been in Melbourne for five months - and the man believed to be in his 20s - was taken near Freshwater Place at Southbank.

The man followed her up to her apartment building on Kavanagh Street after sneaking in behind her after she used her security pass to access the building.

He joined her in the elevator where she noticed him for the first time.

When the man got out at her floor, Sarah asked what he was looking for and he asked if she was Clarissa from Norway - to which she replied no - before he pretended to return to the lift.

"I just ran to my apartment and in this moment, he was behind me," Sarah said.

The man grabbed her, putting his hand on her mouth and chest and tried to pull her away, sparking fears she would be sexually assaulted.

She managed to open the door, scream and fall into the unit, waking one of housemates who ran to her aid and startled the man who fled.

Sarah, who did not want her full name published, hasn't stayed at the apartment since.

"Yesterday was my first day alone in the streets, I feel that someone wanted to attack me. I mean, it's really hard."

Police have released images and security footage of the man they believe was responsible.

He was wearing a black hooded top, blue jeans, black runners with white edges and a black cap with a white logo.

He is described as clean shaven, with a thin build, brown eyes and dark eyebrows.

Detective Acting Sergeant Michael Tobin said the man's actions were "very calculated", including pulling up his hood in well-lit areas and avoiding some cameras.

Police are appealing to building-owners in the area, and dashcam users, to provide footage in the area from about that time.

"We're here today, trying to get the message out straight away so we can work out who this person is," he said.

"It's extremely serious. You've heard from Sarah herself what she thought was going to happen next - none of that is good."

Australian Associated Press