A woman was robbed at knifepoint and physically assaulted early Sunday morning while running near the base of East Rock Park — a popular exercise destination for Yalies.

The victim was an unidentified 25-year-old female resident of downtown New Haven, and she was robbed at 7:30 a.m. on April 22, according to a New Haven Police Department press release issued on Monday. Officers responded to an emergency call from a nearby woman who said she had heard screams coming from the paths along Mill River inside the park. The woman who was robbed and assaulted later phoned police from her home once she returned to downtown New Haven.

The robbery victim told the police she was running toward East Rock Park near Orange and Willow streets when she noticed an orange car, which contained approximately four people. The car then moved to a separate location, and the victim came across the car near Orange Street and English Drive, according to the NHPD press release.

After the unidentified woman neared the car, two men got out of it, and one asked her for the time. At some point during the altercation, this man drew a knife and grabbed the woman’s sweatshirt. After this, the victim and the perpetrator struggled, and the woman fell to the ground, according to police.

Jacob Bendicksen ’20, who enjoys hiking and running in East Rock Park and jogged in the area the evening after the crime, said it was concerning that a woman was robbed near the park.

The unidentified robber — described as a young black man, possibly in his teens, with short braids and about 5 feet 9 inches in height — stole the victim’s cell phone. Officers found a knife inside a trash can in the park, near the scene of the crime.

Detectives are following up on several leads in the case, and the victim’s phone has been recovered, according to the release.

Christina Carrafiell | christina.carrafiell@yale.edu