The incident happened just after 3:30 a.m. on June 29 in Bedford Park.
Investigators say the suspect followed 62-year-old Carolyn Farmer into her Briggs Avenue apartment building.
He grabbed her from behind, viciously assaulted her and stole money before fleeing the scene.
"That's him, that's the man," she said when she saw the surveillance photo of the suspect for the first time. "It's frightening how he beat me up."
Farmer said she had just withdrawn $700 in cash for rent and bills from an ATM at a nearby Laudromat, just around the corner from her home.
"I didn't see anybody follow me, but that's the man," she said. "They got him on camera, too. Please get him. He might come back after me again."
As brutal as the attack was, Farmer amazingly walked away with just a small cut on her elbow. She was treated and released from a local hospital.
Police are hoping an extensive network of surveillance cameras in the area will help identify the suspect.
"The biggest lead, of course, is the video," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "We're waiting, obviously, as always, for the public's help, that's what we're waiting for.
The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5-foot-9 and weighing 200 pounds with short black hair. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, dark shorts and white sneakers. Farmer hopes for a quick arrest.
"God will punish him for what he did," she said. "And if he harm anybody else, God will punish him.
Anyone with information in regards is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).