MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami police have stepped up their efforts to find a man who sexually assaulted a woman on New Year’s Day.

Wednesday morning, they passed out flyers in the area of NW 12th Avenue and 30th Street in Allapattah where the attack occurred.

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The woman told police she was walking to work along 12th Avenue around 6 a.m. when she noticed a man following her. As she began to walk faster, the woman said the man ran up, grabbed her purse and threw her to the ground in the open field underneath the Metrorail line.

“She takes this route every day to work, 6 o’clock in the morning, it’s still dark. He grabs her, throws her into an open field and beats her and that’s where he sexually assaults her,” said Miami polict Sgt. Freddie Cruz.

The woman said her attacker told her he wanted her and held her down as he punched her in the face several times. He then took off her clothes and sexually assaulted her.

“It’s quite disturbing.  She did tell us she was trying to yell for help but he covered her mouth and continued to beat her.  I think at any moment he could have taken her life,” said Cruz.

Shawanna Powell, who lives in the area, said she fears for her daughters.

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“I’m just gonna pray and keep them safe,” said Powell.

Some residents said this is not the first time something like this has happened in their neighborhood.

“This is the second time in a row,” said JC Velasquez glancing at the flyer.  “We had one right around the corner and this one has happened right around the other corner. It’s like, it’s unbelievable.”

Cruz said they are hopeful someone will recognize the guy and give them or Crime Stoppers a call.

“With the public as our eyes and ears, they can help us.  Somebody has to know something.  Any little piece of information can help us put this puzzle together and capture him before he strikes again,” said Cruz.

Police said the man they are looking for is about 35 to 40 years-of-age, 5’5- 5’6, 180 pounds with black hair and a light fuzz mustache.

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Anyone with information is urged to contact the Miami Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at (305) 603-6300. Those with information that wish to remain anonymous can contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (4877).