LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A young woman attacked, beaten and robbed at Long Beach City College detailed her horrifying encounter Friday night in hopes of spreading the word to other potential victims.
Carolina Herrera was walking from class to a school parking lot in the 4900 block of E. Carson Street at about 9:20 p.m. when she was approached by a suspect and punched several times, according to Long Beach police.
"I felt him grab me and he just started punching me over and over again in my face, and he wouldn't let go," Herrera said. "I tried to push him but he wouldn't let go. That's when I started screaming."
In the struggle, the unidentified suspect grabbed her phone and fled.
"He grabbed my hand with my phone and started hitting me in the face until I started screaming louder," she said. "That's when I got the cut, and he ran away."
The 19-year-old was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries to her head.
Herrera and her family were frustrated the suspect hasn't been caught and retained attorney Shawn F. Matian.
"Although we're now talking about my client, if there aren't safeguards put into place, if the school doesn't take this seriously, if the police doesn't take the investigation seriously, we could be sitting here tomorrow with a different victim talking about the same thing," Matian said.
Long Beach City College spokesperson John Pope said after the attack, police stepped up patrols and all students were alerted. He also urged that students should used campus escorts available at any time.
The suspect was described as a black man in his early 20s, between 5 feet 7 inches tall to 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black shirt with horizontal stripes on half of his shirt, along with black pants.
Anyone with information was urged to contact the Long Beach Police Department.
As Herrera's physical scars heal, her emotional wounds cut much deeper.
"I had to quit my job," she added. "Being out in public terrifies me. I can't go out at night anymore. I haven't been back at school, I had to drop out. I can't go to sleep..."