The schoolboy was walking in Kenmure Street, Pollokshields, Glasgow, at around 3.10pm on Wednesday when a man pulled him from the street to the back court of nearby flats.
The boy broke free, ran back into Kenmure Street and alerted another man.
He was uninjured and went home and told his family who contacted police.
Extra police patrols have been put in the area and officers are trying to find out if the boy knows the man.
Police said the man was of Asian appearance, around 5ft 4in and 30-35. He was unshaven and wore dark jogging bottoms, a hooded top and a baseball cap.