Woman robbed, sexually assaulted in Chinatown

The attack happened in this Chinatown alley. Photo: Van Applegate/ABC7

WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- There was overwhelming disbelief in the Chinatown neighborhood just hours after police sources say a woman in her late twenties was dragged into a small alley hidden away by a large black metal door, beaten, raped, and robbed.

It was 5 a.m. Thursday morning when sources say the victim -- who is in her late 20's and from the D.C. metro area -- was walking on 8th street on her way to buy a bus ticket to New York. The charter buses pick up and drop off right at the corner on H.

Sources say the woman briefly stopped to ask a man for directions, and when she walked away, he allegedly grabbed her from behind and dragged her into the hidden alley between Asian Spice cafe and the rear of Matchbox restaurant. Once there, sources say he punched her in the face and choked her, raping her and stealing her cash.

Laura Vickery works nearby and lives in Virginia.

"It's shocking," she said. "Really shocking because this is an upscale area with lots of businesses. You wouldn't think that would happen in this area. That's unbelievable.”

The victim managed to get away and escape to the Gallery Place metro station where she got on a train and called police, according to sources. She was taken to the hospital and because she was able to describe where she was attacked, police eventually found the hidden alley and the crime scene; her belongings were found tossed around on the ground.

Authorities say they are looking for an approximately 24-year-old man with dark complexion and a thin build. He was wearing a white t-shirt, grey pants and black shoes.

Police hope that the surveillance cameras in the area will help them catch the predator who probably knew exactly where to take his victim.