An image from a video police released of a suspect in the attempted kidnapping. Courtesy: BPD

A man tried to kidnap a UC Berkeley student in her 20s in the heart of the Northside commercial district on Tuesday, authorities say.

The man approached the woman from behind around 5 p.m. and attempted to pull her toward him, Berkeley police say. She’d just left the Cal campus and crossed Hearst Avenue at Euclid.

Police say the man told her he was “going to take her to his car” and threatened to sexually assault her, but she was able to get away and ran into Cabañas Cafe. The man followed her in, but cafe staff blocked the man from reaching the woman, who hid in the bathroom. Cafe staff called police for assistance.

Much of the incident was captured on surveillance footage, police said, and they have released this video of a suspect leaving the area shortly after 5 p.m.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to notify BPD’s sex crimes unit at 510-981-5735.

This story has been updated after publication with additional information.

Iris Kwok covers the environment for Berkeleyside through a partnership with Report for America. A former music journalist, her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, San Francisco Examiner...