NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a man they say pushed a woman to the ground and tried to sexually assault her early Wednesday morning in Hell’s Kitchen.

It allegedly happened in front of a middle school at West 52nd Street near 10th Avenue around 12:40 a.m., CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Friday.

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Video shows a man in a gray shirt and pants. Police said he walked up behind the 23-year-old woman, put his hand over her mouth, shoved her to the ground and tried to grope her.

(Credit: NYPD)

The woman managed to fend off her attacker, who ran away, police said.

Several women in the neighborhood told Duddridge they no longer feel safe walking around this area alone at night.

“I won’t go out at night,” one said.

A woman who lives next door said she’s changing her habits.

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“I can’t tell you how many times I’m just truly nervous walking down the street. Like, I don’t even try to go out late at night anymore,” said Valentina Kadashikova.

The victim was taken to Mount Sinai West to be examined. She suffered cuts to her arm and a bruised collarbone.

Police said the suspect took off heading west toward 10th Avenue.

Surveillance video of the suspect walking a block away was taken shortly after the incident, according to police.

One man told Duddridge he worries about the increase of homeless and mentally ill people in the neighborhood and the apparent decrease in police out patrolling.

“The more cutbacks against these police, the unsafe it’s going to be for women, women or children. Or even some gay community as well is a target. That’s just a dumb idea to defund them,” said John Castro, who works in Hell’s Kitchen.

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Anyone with information about the alleged attacker is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.

Natalie Duddridge