Mesa Police searching for man accused of attempted sexual assault of a minor

The Mesa Police Department needs the public's help figuring out who exactly the person was who allegedly attempted to sexually assault a minor.

Mesa Police say at around 9 p.m. on Feb. 3, officers responded to the area of University Drive and Sossaman Road for an "attempted sexual assault on a minor."

The suspect reportedly left the area on foot before officers responded, and they weren't able to find him.

"He is being described as a black male between the ages of 25–40 years old, standing 5ft 10in tall with a medium build. The suspect has a goatee style beard that is longer and thicker on the chin and dark spiky hair. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie with a white logo and dark pants," police said.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call Mesa Police at 480-644–2211.

"To our community, remember to lock all doors and windows. Turn on your residential outdoor lights. Stay vigilant, and if you see anything suspicious, call 911," Mesa PD said.

On Feb. 6, Mesa Police released a composite sketch of the suspect.

The search for the suspect led authorities on a big manhunt in east Mesa late Saturday night – the night the alleged incident happened.

From cop cars on the streets. To a chopper in the sky.

Residents like Zach Enderton were left wondering what was going on.

"Spotlight shined in my room, so I’m going out in the living room, ask my mom what’s going on, and she said that she just called the non-emergency, and they’re telling her to lock the door, to not go outside," he said.

Detectives came back to the scene on Feb. 7.

Knocking on doors and digging for clues about the man who police released a sketch of. A man Enderton thinks he may have seen before.

"I’ve seen someone kind of sketchy walking around the playground in the complex at night wearing all black. Same beard, not sure if it’s him," he said.

Parents in the area don’t recognize him but will be on high alert from now on.

A parent named Michael Parkes says he'll be "a lot more cautious."

Another parent, Diamond Carter, said, "That’s very terrifying because I have a 5-year-old and I also have my 7-year-old daughter. She actually walks the block where the police were cutting it off to actually go to school up the street so that’s very, very scary."

Mesa Police are telling residents to lock their doors and windows and to keep an eye out for kids.

Map of the area where the incident took place: