ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Annapolis police investigate a violent late night sexual assault on a young woman in a dark alley.

Derek Valcourt has more on the attack and how the victim fought to survive.

READ MORE: Maryland Unemployment Rate Lowest Since Onset Of The Pandemic, Data Says

Police say the kind of sexual assault that happened over the weekend in an Annapolis alley is rare but still alarming.

In Annapolis’ downtown historic neighborhood, news of the weekend attack on a 21-year-old woman is spreading.

“I just can’t believe it happened,” said Helene Manos.

After a night out with some friends along Annapolis’ busy West Street, the victim began walking home around 1:30 a.m. Saturday. She noticed a man following her.

“Whoever was behind her ended up grabbing her from behind and pulling her into an alleyway. He ended up sexually assaulting her and assaulting her,” said Detective Amy Miguez.

READ MORE: Protest For Jailed Capitol Rioters: Police Ready This Time

Police say after a two-minute assault in the narrow alley, the victim was able to fight her way to freedom. Her attacker took off running, leaving police and those who live in the neighborhood wondering who he was.

“A lot of people out that night, so it could have been anybody,” Manos said.

The attack happened in an area full of historic homes and professional offices, making it all the more unsettling to women who walk around here.

“Our building is just a couple down and we work sometimes at night and that’s frightening,” said Sharon Bald.

Neighbors say front porch lights are often the only glow on the otherwise dark street where this happened. Women we talked to say this serves as a reminder to take precautions while walking.

“Definitely with someone, especially down these streets and in the alleyways. Never by myself,” said Jen Behrens.

MORE NEWS: Mount Airy Man Clifton Beck Reported Missing During Grand Canyon Trip

Annapolis police say they would like to hear from anyone who saw something suspicious in the downtown historic area late Friday night into early Saturday morning.