Ottawa police are searching for a teenager that they believe is a predator targeting young girls in a west-end neighbourhood.

Police were called to investigate after a stranger tried to lure an eight-year-old girl into the woods at a park in the city's Carlington neighbourhood on Tuesday.

Police say an unknown male believed to be in his teens allegedly approached the girl who was playing in Bellevue Manor Park in the Carling Avenue and Merivale Road area.

The suspect asked the girl to come with him to get some ice cream.

A nearby adult saw what was happening and intervened. The suspect left the area.

Police say the incident may be linked to another suspicious incident at the same park on April 25.

That incident involved an 11-year-old girl who was inappropriately touched by an unknown male.

The suspect apparently used candy to lure the girl into the woods where he sexually assaulted her. He fled the scene when the girl screamed.

"This one is very concerning simply because it is bold and brazen right in broad daylight. There seems to be a lack of regard for anyone who could be witnessing, so it makes it very concerning," said Ottawa police Staff-Sgt. John McGetrick.

The incidents have also prompted police to warn parents to keep a close eye on their children.

"If I'm a parent in that community, I'm not having my child go to the park without me, pure and simple," said McGetrick.

Police say they are looking for a male who is in his mid- to late-teens. He has a medium build, dark black hair, and is described as being Latin American.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Ottawa police at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS).

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem