NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search continues for a man who police said assaulted a woman in Queens and then tried to rape her.

It happened around 4:40 a.m. Sunday as the 35-year-old woman was walking alone near 74th Street and 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights.

Investigators say the woman had just finished her shift waitressing at an area bar and was on her way home when the man grabbed her by the arms and then punched her several times before throwing her to the ground, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.

Once she was on the ground, police said the man dragged her over to a fence, where he tried to sexually assault her. The woman was able to get away. Police said the suspect took off with her purse.

The victim was eventually able to flag down a nearby driver for help. She was treated at Elmhurst Hospital for bruising and scrapes on her head and torso.

The victim said she sensed the suspect had been following her for a few blocks before the attack, Burrell reported.

With the suspect still at large, neighbors say they’ll be more careful.

“I’m very surprised to hear that,” said neighbor Sara Frost. “It’s kind of scary. That’s why we chose this neighborhood cause it’s quiet at night.”

“It’s horrible and I feel unsafe,” said Jackson Heights resident Divya Sood. “It’s terrifying.”

“I never thought this neighborhood is unsafe but that’s crazy,” said resident Siu Yeung. “Hopefully they can catch him.”

One man said it starts by making sure his wife is always with someone when walking outside.

“It’s really scary,” Sanjoi Bakhrin said. “We can’t let her walk alone. ”

Police describe the suspect as a black man, about 5’10” and 160 pounds. He was wearing black pants, black shoes and a black hooded sweater with white specks and the letter “GSRD” on the chest.

He was last seen running north on 74th Street.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

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