BOSTON (WHDH) - Women in South Boston are on edge after a man attacked and robbed another woman in the area Tuesday night. Police are asking for the public’s help to identify the suspect.

“It’s just so scary,” said a neighbor, Melissa. “You never think it really happens in your own neighborhood and then it does.”

Police said the victim was walking back from a convenience store on East 6th Street at about 8:30 p.m. when a man came up behind her and tried to grab her bag. Police said he pulled a knife and punched her in the face before taking off on foot.

One woman, who chose to speak off camera, said she and her daughter heard the commotion right next to the alleyway leading off the street.

“Our neighbor who lives up the street was coming home from a convenience store, she had gone there to buy lottery tickets. My daughter heard her [the woman] scream, she was screaming quite loudly, which was to her benefit thank goodness,” said the woman.

The woman said all of the neighbors then turned on their lights and opened their doors, causing the suspect to run off.

“She [the victim] said she felt a knife, someone behind her and felt a knife on her neck and he said to her, ‘I know you have plenty of money,’ [while] looking for money in her purse and she said, ‘I only bought lottery tickets, I have no money,” said the woman, recalling what her neighbor told her.

The victim then told her neighbor that the man got angry and attacked her once he realized she didn’t have any money.

“He put her against the wall, put her hands behind her back and punched her in the eye,” the woman said.

Police said the suspect is believed to be a Black male about 20-30 years of age, wearing a dark-colored leather jacket and dark pants.

Police said EMTs came to the scene to help the victim but she didn’t need to be hospitalized.

“It’s just kind of scary,” said Southie resident Paige O’Loughlin. “This is generally a pretty safe neighborhood, and to hear that this is happening is concerning.

Women in the area said they’ll be changing some habits until police catch the suspect.

“As we get closer to the holidays, we see (a) crime uptick, and I mean, everyone’s got to be careful,” said resident Talia Tulles.

“Because the sun’s setting earlier, (I) try not to be outside either running or walking alone until things settle down and they get it figured out,” said resident Hannah Saadon.

Officials urge anyone with information on the suspect to contact Area C-6 detectives at 617-343-4742. Community members who wish to assist in this investigation anonymously can call the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or text the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).

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