The intruder broke into a home in the 200 block of East Adam Street about 4:30 a.m. by cutting a screen and entering through an unlocked living room window.
The 26-year-old victim had fallen asleep on a couch. She was awakened when the man jumped on top of her. "This man she describes as a male Hispanic in his 20s, wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt [and] a white and black bandana. He began punching her and choking her and trying to pull her clothes off," said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.
Police said the victim fought back and the man pulled out a knife. During the attack, a second man who had been on the porch entered the house.
"He came back into the house, said something to the suspect in broken English, and then the suspect got up off of her and grabbed some cash that was on the table and fled," said Bertagna.
The woman suffered cuts and bruises. Her 1-year-old daughter, who was sleeping in a bedroom, was not harmed.
Authorities said it's not clear if the suspects planned to sexually assault the woman or intended to commit a burglary that then turned into an attack.
Police are urging residents to keep their windows locked.
Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to call Santa Ana police at (714) 245-8400.