NORTHWEST, DC (WUSA9) -- A disturbing crime in an area that you normally think of as a safe place to walk.
Police say a woman was robbed at an ATM and then sexually assaulted. Police say the robbery took place in the 5100 block of Wisconsin Avenue and forced to walk several blocks to 44th Street Northwest.
It happened in Friendship Heights which is sandwiched between Tenley Town and Mazza Gallerie. It's a vibrant, walking neighborhood with shops and restaurants.
Police say the suspect followed the woman to an ATM. They are not sure which ATM but they're checking several in the area.
The suspect threatened her with a knife and robbed her.
Michelle Shableski, an area resident says "That's really horrible, that makes me feel I can't go outside behind my house. That's such a horrible thing to hear. I had no idea."
Shableski has lived in this fairly quiet neighborhood for five years.
The alleged sex assault happened in an alley way behind her house in the 5100 block of 44th street NW at around 11 Tuesday night.
"It makes me feel like I can't leave my house at night. I hope they catch the people."
Police say the woman was at an ATM in the 5100 block of Wisconsin Ave. The man pointed a knife to her back, robbed her and forced her to walk several blocks to the alley and sexually assaulted her.
Cathy House, another resident says, "You do have a lot of traffic with the teenagers and college students but they feel very safe in the neighborhood and so I'm very shocked this would happen."
Police say passersby may have mistaken the two as a couple. The woman had an umbrella and they were walking together. But police say she was scared for her life.
Patricia Huggins said, "It's not a regular part of walking up and down Wisconsin Ave. even at 11 o'clock."
Police are asking for your help. They have a vague description but there might be enough there to jog someone's memory if they were in the area around 11 last night.
Police describe the victim as a white female. The suspect as a black male, 40-50 years old, 5'4"-5'7" wearing an olive green coat. The two were walking together under an umbrella as if they were a couple down the 5100 block of Wisconsin Avenue toward 44th Street.
Metropolitan Police D meanwhile are gathering surveillance video from several ATM's and are hoping to share that with the media soon.