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Police looking for man in sex-assault attempt

Salt Lake County sheriff's investigators Wednesday were trying to find a man who they say attempted to sexually assault a woman who was walking by herself.

Just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, a 34-year-old woman was walking through the Bella Vista Elementary School grounds, 2131 E. Fort Union Blvd., looking for a friend, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Rex Mulholland. While she was walking, a man came up from behind her, hit her in the face and knocked her to the ground, he said.

"He reached down to take her pants off. She struggled with him, began yelling and tried to fight him off," Mulholland said.

The screaming apparently scared the man, who got up and walked away, he said. Nearby residents who heard the screams looked outside their doors to see what was happening and called 911.

The only description investigators have is a white or light-skinned man, about 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds. He was last seen wearing dark clothing and carrying a dog leash in one hand, with a large dog walking next to him, Mulholland said.

The woman did the right thing by yelling, struggling and bringing attention to herself, Mulholland said.

Anyone with information on the attacker can call 743-7000.