IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- An Orange County woman is speaking out after she said she was sexually battered and assaulted inside an elevator at an Irvine storage facility.
"I wouldn't take myself as somebody not having their guard up ... watching my back," said the victim. "But it just takes one moment for you to not be on guard and be vulnerable."
It happened on Saturday, June 25, at the Extra Space Storage facility on 17 Shield around 3 p.m.
The 30-year-old woman does not want her name disclosed out of fear that the attacker might retaliate.
The woman, who was there with her family moving items into a storage unit, said she had to go to the restroom. She entered an elevator and encountered the unknown man.
"I saw that he looked kind of off a little," she said. "This guy had to have some kind of mental disability. My senses did not feel threatened. I have a sister who has Down syndrome, so I think that's why I'm aware of their actions. Anybody who's interacted with them knows they can be a little physical, but not harmful."
She said he started walking closer and said she remained calm.
"I was nice about it (when I asked him to) back up, move, and not get closer," she said.
But suddenly, she said he lunged at her, pulling down her sports bra exposing her breasts.
"He latched on to my breast and was not letting go, and as soon as it happened, he hit me in the midst of that, so I punched him in the face. Then it was a full-blown fist fight with a man in the elevator," she recalled.
When she exited the elevator, she said the man walked away.
She attempted to deploy pepper spray on him, but in the heat of the moment said she couldn't get the protective cap off the canister.
That's when she turned around and ran toward a more crowded part of the facility.
"My whole face was swollen, my jaw, my lip, my eye was already turning black and blue," she said.
She called 911 and Irvine police officers responded.
A spokesperson for the department said detectives are investigating the sexual battery and assault and are working to identify the suspect.
The victim said the facility had several surveillance cameras in place, but the police department declined to release information on those materials. She wants others to take note of her situation, especially since it happened in the middle of the day when she was least expecting it.
"I think there's so many times when we're on our phones, we're walking, texting, in a rush, and we're not paying attention," she said. "I could have been raped or killed. I don't know what his intentions were."
Anyone with information is urged to contact authorities.