A 57-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in an early-morning home invasion Tuesday in the city's Olney section, police said.

The armed assailant tried to then steal the woman's car but was fought off by a neighbor.

Police gave the following account:

About 6:45 a.m., the woman heard a loud noise from the rear of her property and found that a small brick wall on a neighbor's property had fallen. As she attempted to close her back door, a man pushed the door open, pointed a black handgun at her head, and said, "Don't make a sound."

He took the woman to her second-floor bedroom and demanded money. She gave him $15 in cash, two wallets with ID and credit cards, and her mobile phone. The man then assaulted her.

The man took the woman's car keys and left the house. He opened the door to the woman's red Chrysler PT Cruiser and found that the steering wheel was secured with an anti-theft club. As he tried to remove the club, the woman's next-door neighbor, a 43-year-old man, confronted him. The assailant told the neighbor to mind his own business, but a struggle ensued. The assailant pulled out a gun and pointed it at the neighbor.

"The neighbor smacked the gun out of the [man's] hand and it fell to the ground," police said.

After another brief struggle, the neighbor picked up the gun and the assailant ran away.

The suspect was described as a black male in his mid-30s, about six feet tall, with what appeared to be a goatee. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the word "FRESH" in white on the back. He was wearing black pants and shoes, a red shirt, and black gloves.