The girl told police she was walking home from school around 4 p.m. Monday in the 6300 block of Brooklyn Avenue when a man drove up in a van and asked for directions to a local park, said San Diego police spokeswoman Monica Munoz.
After she gave him directions, he grabbed her arm, but she broke free and ran home to call police.
Police are looking for a 1980s dark blue Ford Aerostar with a light blue sliding passenger door, beige interior and captain chair front seats. It is missing a front grill, Munoz said.
Anyone with information about the van or suspect was asked to call San Diego police at (619) 527-3500 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. Tipsters can choose to remain anonymous.