Detectives have released CCTV footage and an e-fit of a man who tried to attack a woman in the street in Ellemere Park, Eccles.
The man appears to be wearing hi-visibility clothing as he stalks the 24-year-old victim, walking just a yard behind her on Half Edge Lane in the early hours of Tuesday 23 February.
SalfordOnline.com reported how the shocked woman managed to get free and scream for help after the would-be attacker grabbed hold of her and pulled her into a driveway.
It happened at around 6.20am on Tuesday near Ivy Mount Guest House, as the woman walked down Half Edge Lane away from Eccles, down the hill, in the direction of Salford Royal hospital.
This shocking CCTV shows the offender following close behind the woman.
Detectives say the man forced one hand over the victim’s mouth and the other around her waist, picking her up and carrying her several feet down the street and on to a driveway.
He dropped her to the floor and lay on top of her, before saying: “Oh, you’re not the person I thought you was.”
He then stood up and ran off, leaving the victim cowering on the ground.
The offender is described as white, in his late 20s, around 5ft 11in, with an athletic build and sand-coloured hair.
Police were not clear on the exact motive for the attack, but have several lines of enquiry including kidnap and possible sexual assault.
Detective Sergeant Karl Dalton said: “This is an unusual incident, seemingly involving a case of mistaken identity.
“This woman thankfully was left uninjured by her attacker, but make no mistake she has been through an utterly terrifying ordeal and it is vitally important we identify and detain this man.
“His words suggest that another woman may be the real target, so it is imperative we find him before another innocent person is subjected to a similar assault.
“If you recognise this man, please contact police as soon as possible and you could prevent another woman becoming a victim.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting incident number 230216/311 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.