Police are investigating an assault on an 11-year-old girl in Richmond terrace, Barnstaple.
The attack took place at approximately 4.15pm on Thursday December 13.
An 11-year-old girl walking home from school was grabbed around the neck and pushed against a wall by a man she does not know.
She was not injured, say police.
The suspect is described as being white, aged 30 to 35 years old with wavy light brown/dark blonde hair with bits of grey.
He was wearing a grey hoody, dark or denim jogging bottoms, white trainers He had dark eyes and was unshaven.
After letting the girl go the man ran from Richmond Street into Hills View where he got into a white van and drove off.
The van is believed to be a ‘62’ plate and was sign-written.
Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen the van making off and can provide additional information which may identify the vehicle and its driver.
A police spokesperson said: "We are keen to emphasise that no threats or demands were made of the child and that we are not treating this as an attempted abduction.
"The girl was not physically injured as a result of the attack. It is also not being linked to any other incidents in the area."
Information may be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 quoting reference CB/12/3967