SANTA MONICA ( — Police in Santa Monica are looking for a suspect who sexually assaulted a woman at the beach on Christmas.

The incident took place near the waterline in the 2700 block of the beach.

Authorities say a woman was walking along the beach on Christmas, about 5:45 p.m., when an unknown assailant ran towards her with his arms out.

The man allegedly grabbed the woman, put her in a bear hug, pushed her to the ground and tried to force her legs apart.

Officials said the woman fought back and the suspect fled.

The victim chased the suspect in a northwest direction — passed the bathroom area in the 2600 block — until she lost sight of him.

She described her assailant as Latino, about 25-30 years old, approximately 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall.

The man has a medium build and is described as physically fit. He has dark eyes and thick black eyebrows.

At the time of the assault, the suspect was wearing a black collared shirt, dark jacket and dark jeans.

Amanda Burden, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, talked to Santa Monica Sgt. Richard Lewis about the attack.

“He attempted a sexual assault. We want to take him into custody as quickly as possible,” said Lewis. “He’s extremely dangerous. Anybody who would just run up to a female and slam them to the ground with no regard, they are very dangerous.”

Lewis told Burden there were two people riding bikes near the attack who witnessed the chase. Investigators hope they will come forward with more information.

If you recognize the man in the sketch, or were a possible witness to the incident, you are asked to call Santa Monica Police at (310) 458-8427.

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