Ottawa police are looking for a man they say forced a 16-year-old girl into an SUV and sexually assaulted her on Tuesday morning.

Police said the teenager was walking on Tartan Drive in Barrhaven at about 9:45 a.m. when the man drove up in an older red SUV and asked for directions.

She was then forced into the SUV and sexually assaulted, before being dropped off at the Fallowfield Road Park and Ride lot.

Police said the man brandished a handgun during the attack.

Sgt. Jeff Webster with the sexual assault and child abuse unit said police have spoken with the alleged victim and at least one witness and are checking video cameras in the area.

"It was a very unusual set of circumstances where we have someone approached in the city in broad daylight and attacked in this fashion so we're not exposed to it very often," said Webster.

"Barrhaven is a bedroom community and generally a safe community so this type of occurance where there are a lot of residences is alarming and I'm sure the community will be alarmed," he said.

The suspect is described as a male in his 40s with light brown or olive skin and standing about five-feet-six-inches with a medium build, slightly protruding stomach and dark, shaggy ear-length hair.

Police said he spoke English with a French accent and wore a beige suede coat, blue jeans, black work boots, glasses with thin black rims and a gold wedding band.

The vehicle was an older red four-door SUV with winter tires and no hubcaps, similar to a Ford Escape or Explorer, police said.

It had a front mount for a licence plate, but no front plate, and it had two front bucket seats and rear seats that had been removed.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact the sexual assault and child abuse unit or Crime Stoppers.