A Rohnert Park hotel housekeeper was attacked at knifepoint Friday afternoon as she cleaned the patio outside a ground-floor room at the Doubletree Hotel off Golf Course Drive, the Rohnert Park Public Safety Department said.

The incident unfolded around 3:45 p.m. Friday as the woman worked outside the sliding door of one of the hotel's first-floor rooms and was suddenly grabbed from behind and had a knife put to her throat, police said.

Her assailant forced her back inside the room and ordered her to stay quiet, police said. He then tied her up and began to sexually assault her.

She managed to fight him off and began screaming, prompting him to run off toward the Rogers Plaza shopping center to the south, police said.

Authorities said the woman told them she had seen the suspect earlier walking toward the hotel from the Rogers Plaza area.

Police searched the surrounding area and nearby businesses without success.

The woman was taken to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. Her name was not released because of the nature of the crime.

The man was described as a thin African-American man about 30-to-40 years old, about 5-foot-10-inches tall with writing tattooed on the side of his neck. He was wearing a white, button-down shirt, black dress pants and black gloves, police said.

Anyone with information about the attack or the assailant is asked to contact police Detective Tara Douglas at (707) 588-3526.