updated 3/11/2010 1:47:06 PM ET 2010-03-11T18:47:06

A stranger followed a woman into a New York City bar restroom after she rejected his advances early Thursday, savagely beat her in a toilet stall and perhaps even sexually assaulted her, police said.

The attack occurred around 2 a.m. at Social, a three-story bar and lounge on Eighth Avenue in midtown Manhattan where the victim, a nurse, had gone with a friend, authorities said.

The woman told police that she had rebuffed attempts by an unidentified man to dance with her, said police spokesman Paul Browne. When she went to the women's restroom on the second floor, he followed her and burst into a stall.

The man beat the victim until she was unconscious. Her friend later found in her in the stall and called 911, believing she might have fallen.

The woman was hospitalized with a broken eye socket, broken jaw and other injuries. When she regained consciousness, she told hospital workers she had been attacked.

Browne said investigators think she might also have been sexually assaulted. The Associated Press generally doesn't name potential victims of sexual assault.

Police were gathering security videotape and interviewing bar employees to try to identify the assailant. There was no immediate response to a phone message left at the bar.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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