NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman was beaten beyond recognition in a random attack that happened right after she dropped off a child at school Monday morning.

Late Tuesday, police released a surveillance image of a man they want to speak with in connection to the brutal assault.

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Police are looking for this man in connection to a brutal attack in Kew Gardens Hills. (credit: NYPD)

Police were still on the scene in Kew Gardens Hills investigating and telling residents to be careful after Monday morning’s attack. Many residents told CBS2 they’re especially nervous since the brazen assault happened in broad daylight, as students were making their way to school.

The bottom of a stairwell is where police found a 52-year-old woman unconscious with trauma to her face and body on Monday at around 8:30 a.m. Authorities said the attack happened shortly after she dropped off a child at a nearby school.

“I’m very upset about it. It is a horrible thing. I feel terrible for the woman and it’s very scary,” Kew Gardens Hills resident Barry Rosenbloom said.

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Investigators believe the suspect had been following the victim and then dragged her to a building near 72nd Road and Kissena Boulevard, where he beat and possibly sexually assaulted her so badly she’s almost unrecognizable. She was not alert enough to give police a description of the suspect.

“I don’t understand how that happened in that time of day and nobody saw something, because it’s a pretty busy area over here. There’s schools; there’s businesses,” Rosenbloom said.

Authorities said the woman does not live in the building where she was attacked, but does somewhere nearby. So far, investigators say the assault appears to be random.

“I have a sister who goes to school. She’s 16. I’m a little worried,” Janshed Murtazarev said.

Murtazarev lives in the apartment next door. He said he doesn’t want his younger sister going out alone.

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Police have alerted residents who live in the area to remain vigilant and to report any unusual activity.