JERSEY CITY - Police have released a sketch of a man wanted for a violent sexual assault in Jersey City that has shocked residents in the area. 

Investigators say the armed suspect grabbed the victim, who was walking alone at around 2 a.m. Monday, from behind and threw her down a stairwell. He tore at her clothing and forcibly kissed her, before cutting her in the neck with a box cutter razor.

The incident happened in the area of York and Grove streets, just a block away from City Hall. Neighbors say this area isn't known for violent crime.

"We love it here," says Lisa Acevedo. "I mean, there's great historic neighborhoods.  There's a great community. Great place with lots of families with young children." 

The area is undergoing a transformation, with new construction and families moving in every day, and residents say they feel safe and are surprised to hear about the assault. "It looks like a pretty safe area around here," Acevedo says. "It usually is, absolutely."

The victim described the man as 5 feet 5 inches and in his mid-20s, with shoulder-length hair and gaps in his front teeth. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact police.