A female student at Catholic University was robbed and beaten Monday night near the campus in Northeast Washington, authorities said.

The robbery and attack came a few minutes after 11 p.m. as the woman was getting out of her car in the 700 block of Lawrence Street NE. The site is about two blocks from the campus and the Brookland Metro stop.

According to the campus safety department, the robber came up from behind the woman, grabbed her by the neck and slammed her head against her car.

The woman fell to the ground, but the beating continued, and her cellphone and car keys were taken, the safety department said.

The extent of the woman’s injuries was not immediately known.

The robbery and attack appeared unusual because of their proximity to campus in a neighborhood generally regarded as safe. Even well after dark, the violent nature of the attack, on a victim who apparently did not resist, also appeared uncommon.

The account was first given wide attention by several television news channels.

After grabbing the keys and phone, the robber went into the car and took cash and the victim’s debit card, the safety department said.

The robber was described as a black man in his mid-20s, who was about 5 feet 7, with an average build. When last seen, he was wearing a black sweatshirt, jean shorts, Timberland boots and gloves, the safety department said.

After the robbery, he ran toward the Metro station.

The campus safety department issued a report of the incident Tuesday and offered safety tips to members of the campus community.

(This report has been updated.)