A man has been arrested on suspicion of kidnap and sexual assault after members of the public intervened when he allegedly tried to drag a woman off the street.
Police said they were called to John Street in Rochdale on Wednesday afternoon and took a 41-year-old into custody.
They said officers established that a stranger had tried to drag a woman behind a building.
Onlookers believed the man was trying to kidnap the woman and went to her aid and detained the suspect.
He remains in custody for questioning.
"Firstly, I want to thank the members of the public that stepped in when they saw the woman in distress, and alerted police," said Detective Inspector Nicola Hopkinson from Greater Manchester Police.
"It's important we look out for one another in our communities."
She said it was an "extremely distressing incident" for the woman but that police weren't looking for anyone else.
"We want all members of our community, especially women and girls, to feel they are not at risk of harm when simply walking the streets of Greater Manchester and going about their daily lives," said the detective inspector.
"If you see or hear something that doesn't seem quite right, please get in touch with police."
She said officers could be contacted online at www.gmp.police.uk or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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