The attack was reported at about 2:40 a.m. on Jan. 6 near 23rd and Church streets, and was recounted by the victim in a message circulated on social media and neighborhood blogs.
The 31-year-old victim was walking west on 23rd Street when she noticed a man walking toward her a half-block away. As the man got closer, the woman noticed he was staring at her, police said.
The suspect then lunged at the woman, grabbing her by the head and throwing her to the pavement. He straddled her and slammed her head onto the concrete, according to police.
The victim struggled to free herself and screamed for help, prompting a neighbor to look out the door and yell at the suspect to leave her alone, police said.
In her message posted online, the victim wrote, "I'm incredibly lucky that I had the strength to keep him from delivering a knock-out blow and to fight for so long until someone came to help."
She wrote that she suffered a bruised eye, scratches and scrapes on her face and body, and has a sore jaw and ribs but that her injuries "could have been significantly worse."
She wrote, "I wanted to spread this around not to try and get attention or your sympathy, but to hopefully make you aware of the fact that attacks, and 'bad things' can also happen to people in your circle. We live in a big city and the best thing you can do is be incredibly conscious of your surroundings."
The suspect was last seen running east on 23rd Street and remains at large. He is described as an Asian or Hispanic man around 25 years old who is about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs about 160 pounds, had a buzz haircut and slight beard growth and was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and pants, according to police.
Anyone with information about the attack is encouraged to call the Police Department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with "SFPD" in the message.
(ABC7 News contributed to this report)