A 90-year-old woman has been dragged off the street and raped.
The attack happened in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, as the pensioner walked to the shops.
The victim felt a hand go over her mouth and she was hauled backwards in Spotland Road at about 6.45am on Tuesday, police said.
The police officer leading the investigation said people to "imagine that had been your mum or grandma".
Greater Manchester Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen the victim, and potentially the offender to come forward.
The pensioner is white and wore a white summer dress with a flower print and a cardigan.
Police said that the only description the victim could give of the attacker is that he was white.
Superintendent Alistair Mallen said: "I am sure the entire community will share our revulsion at this.
The victim has been through an horrific ordeal and we are all hoping she can make a full recovery.
She is now being supported by experienced officers and we are doing everything possible to reassure her that we will catch the man responsible.
"This kind of attack is thankfully so rare that it will naturally cause a huge amount of concern in the community.
"I now want people, including the criminal fraternity, to imagine if that had been your mum or grandma. I want to harness these feelings and use them to help the police do their job - catch this man and put him before the courts."