Los Angeles police were searching for a man who attempted to sexually assault a woman on a busy Highland Park Street Thursday evening.
Officers responded to the area of York Boulevard and Toledo Street around 6:30 p.m. after a female victim was attacked, Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Shah said. Shah described the incident as an assault with the intent to commit rape.
The victim was taken to a hospital in an unknown condition.
Police did not release additional information, but a witness told KTLA the young woman was walking from a McDonald’s restaurant when she was suddenly jumped by the man.
“The guy was basically just on top of her, trying to rape her,” Leticia Romo said. “When she started screaming, that’s when he … apparently started socking her and socking her, and she just had blood all over her face, from him socking her, trying to shut her up.”
She added the victim had been beaten up “really bad.”
Two guys in the area saw what was happening and started chasing the man, according to Romo. They were going to catch him, but then “he lifted his shirt like he had a gun,” forcing them to back off, she said.
The police were called, and the attack was reported, according to the witness.
She described the street where the incident occurred as being “busy.”
“For anybody to try to do — attempt to do something like that on this street, that’s just … crazy. It’s crazy. That’s scary,” Romo said.
Police searched for the woman’s attacker, but he got away, according to Shah. It was believed the man had left the area, the lieutenant stated.
A description of the wanted man was not provided by LAPD.
KTLA’s Scott Williams contributed to this story.