By Todd Quinones

LANSDALE, Pa., (CBS) — It happened in an instant.

Police tell CBS 3 a 25-year-old mother was putting her kids in the car when a man armed with a knife tried pulling her into the woods to rape her.

He is a homeless 16-year-old self-described citizen of El Salvador and police allege Herson Guardado tried to rape a young mother.

It happened here at Stoney Creek Park on east Hancock Street in Lansdale.

Police say the mother of three young children notice Guardado in the park, and as she was in the middle of putting her children in the car, the 16-year-old approached her from behind while wearing a ski mask.

“He grabbed her around the neck with his arm, and put a knife to her side and attempted to drag her away from the park and into the woodland,” Det. Sgt. Mike Trail of the Lansdale Police Department said.

As she was pulled closer to the woods, police tell CBS 3 Guardado told the 25-year-old mother “you want sex.”

“She began to struggle and fight with him at which point she got free. She ran back to her vehicle… the suspect then ran toward the tree-line,” Trail said.

It is a startling series of events that has neighbors concerned.

“You hear it on the news. You don’t think it is going to happen in your neighborhood,” Fifi Serrao of Lansdale said.

“You just never know anymore. Anywhere you go just got to be on guard,” Tressina King of Lansdale said.

“It’s very surprising. You never hear of anything like that happening around here,” Regina Faustine of Lansdale said.

Fortunately police say the mom who called 911 and her children were not injured following Monday’s incident which happened just before 5 p.m.

Assisting officers from Upper Gwynedd found Guardado in an area near the park and arrested him.

He is facing charges including attempted rape and attempted sexual assault.

The 16-year-old is being charged as an adult.

His legal problems may not end there.

Police believe the 16-year-old may be in the country illegally and the Department of Homeland Security is investigating.

Guardado remains locked up on $100,000 cash bail.

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