The incident happened around 5:45 p.m. Friday near the Pennwood Crossing Mobile Home Park, in an area full of kids.
It was there, police say, that the man grabbed the boy, covered his mouth, and dragged him into a wooded area.
Investigators say the boy was walking with his godmother, but was lagging behind. The man was hiding behind a shed and grabbed the boy, striking him twice in the face with some kind of object.
"The guy grabbed him and took him to the power lines, to the canal and hit him with a stick a few times and told him to sit down," said witness Pat Monaghan.
Fortunately, the boy was able to escape when his abductor walked away from him.
"I believe if the young male did not get away from him when he did, this would have been a lot worse," Falls Township Police Lt. Henry Ward said. There was no immediate word on why the incident was not made public right away.
The suspect is described as a white male, in his 20's or 30's. He is about six feet tall weighing 200 pounds.
Police add he has a pale complexion, brown eyes, brown mustache, black hair and yellow teeth.
The man also had scratches on his face.
He was wearing a sand-colored camouflage outfit, possibly a jumpsuit, with a baseball cap and black boots.
The incident has people in the area worried.
"It's crazy. You can't let the kids out any more unless you're by their side," said neighbor Tina Wolak.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Falls Township Police at 215-945-3100.