HOUSTON -

Houston police said a man attacked and tried to rape a woman inside an apartment complex laundry room.

Investigators said the 47-year-old victim was in the laundry room of the Villa La Jolla apartments in the 10,000 block of Forum Park around 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Officers said when the woman tried to leave the room, a man grabbed her, pulled her back inside and attacked.

Detectives said the woman struggled with the suspect and was able to break free to run out of the room.

Neighbor Julio Gaitan said he heard the victim screaming and ran out of his own apartment to help. Gaitan said he noticed the man was still following the woman and trying to touch her near the laundry room.

Gaitan said he confronted the man who then turned and ran.

Now knowing the man is free and could attack again, other residents are wondering what else they can do to keep their families safe.

“It's scary to know it just happened over here,” said one neighbor.

“It's sad. It means we are not safe. I'm going to have sit back, think about it, and probably be moving,” said neighbor Kim Davis.

Police said the man is described as Hispanic, 20-25 years old, 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 170-190 pounds.

Gaitan said he also noticed the man was wearing blue jeans and a black jacket. Gaitan said the victim was shaking and having a hard time breathing, but she is expected to be all right.