A woman was assaulted by a man wearing a balaclava as she walked through Hartlepool.
The 53-year-old woman was walking along Park Road towards Middleton Grange shopping centre at 8.3pm on Sunday when a man approached her from behind and grabbed her shoulders.
The victim managed to defend herself and ran off to a nearby shop.
The man is described as around 6 ft tall, of medium build and was dressed all in all black, including gloves and a black balaclava with eye holes.
Police would like any witnesses or anyone with information regarding the identity of the suspect or the incident to contact PC Peter Doherty on the non-emergency number 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 orwww.crimestoppers-uk.org.