A TEENAGE girl had a plastic bag pulled over her head in a terrifying attack where she was targeted by a man as she was jogging in a west-Dublin neighbourhood.
The girl, believed to be 13, was out running in Clonsilla, training for her school athletics team, when the unknown assailant struck in broad daylight.
She was approached from behind by the man who pulled the bag over her head. A struggle ensued and the girl managed to escape unharmed.
The sinister incident occurred at Manorfields Drive Road beside the Ravenwood estate on Monday at about 3pm.
It is the third "suspicious approach" of a child in the Clonsilla area in the last two weeks.
Local councillor David McGuinness said the community is "on alert" over the incidents.
"The community want to see anybody who is involved in something of this nature to be brought in for questioning," he said.
"Anyone who would attack a young girl like that is just a scumbag," Mr McGuinness added, referring to Monday's incident.
After the attack the victim made her way back to the Colaiste Pobail Setanta and alerted school staff.
Gardai were called and five units immediately rushed to the scene, but there was no sign of the attacker.
The school sent out a message warning parents to be extra vigilant.
"Please do not allow students to walk alone in the area. There was a potential incident in the area after school today," the message read.
A garda spokesperson confirmed that there was a "suspicious approach" made on a child and that the incident is being investigated.
Previously, on Thursday, March 12, a girl from the Scoil Mhuire Senior School was allegedly approached at Mount Sycamore Green by a man in a red car at approximately 4pm.
Unlike this week's incident the perpetrator in that case did not come into physical contact with the child.
An alert message was also sent out to parents on that occasion.
"Following an incident in the Clonsilla area last night where a male stranger in a red car approached a pupil of our school, we are asking parents to be vigilant with regard to child safety at all times," it read.
"The gardai in Blanchardstown are dealing with the incident and taking the necessary precautions," it added.
Then on Wednesday, March 18, two schoolgirls were approached at night time by two men in a black car.
The incident happened at approximately 8.30pm as the teens walked on the Hartstown Road.
The local school, Hartstown Community College - where the girls are students - also issued a warning advising parents to speak with their children about safety.
No direct link has as of yet been established between the incidents and no arrests have yet been made in relation to any of the three suspicious approaches.