The victim managed to escape, after a female passer-by came to her aid.
And now -- days after she posted surveillance footage that went viral -- the alleged attacker is in custody.
The Beijing Public Security Bureau announced Friday that a 24-year-old man was arrested the previous night on suspicion of assault and attempted kidnapping. Authorities detained him in Xuchang, which is about 465 miles (750 kilometers) south of the Chinese capital where the incident occurred Sunday night.
This arrest could provide comfort and some closure for the victim.
But it's unlikely to totally quell outrage stemming from the surveillance video posted to social media -- one that stirred anger at not just the attacker, but the hotel chain and civilians who saw it all unfold and allegedly did nothing.
Woman shouted for help
The footage apparently came from a surveillance camera about 10:50 p.m. Sunday at a Yitel hotel, a high-end division of the Homeinns chain, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
It shows a man in a black leather coat and jeans approach a woman who'd just gotten off an elevator. He grabs, tries to choke and pushes her before pulling her down the hallway.
At one point, she tries unsuccessfully to get back on the elevator only to be caught and dragged toward a stairway.
"A hotel staff member was seen watching her struggle without intervening," Xinhua reported, "although the woman shouted 'Help!' and 'I do not know him.'"
According to Xinhua, the woman claimed several people watched her "but they didn't save me."
"The atrocity lasted for five or six minutes in a place with security cameras, but no security guard or managerial staff came to my rescue," she said. "If I hadn't been rescued, where would he have taken me?"
Outrage after video surfaces online
Her plight didn't get widespread attention until Tuesday, when she posted the surveillance video as Wanwan_2016 on Weibo,
China's equivalent of Twitter.
The footage quickly went viral, with millions upon millions of people both viewing and commenting on it.
"It is shocking and sad that, in a society under the rule of law, the suspect could be so savage," one person wrote, according to Xinhua.
Others ripped the hotel chain, threatening not to stay there again. The specific hotel has closed and is no longer an option for online booking, while parent company Homeinns issued a statement Tuesday admitting "problems in security management and customer service."
"We hereby sincerely apologize to the victim and the general public," the company said.
Others spewed vitriol at those who watched the alleged assault happen but didn't do anything to stop it. As such, it harkens back to a 2011 incident
-- also amplified by security video -- showing a toddler being struck in two successive hit-and-run accidents and then being ignored by bystanders that likewise stirred outrage.
"We need people's moral awareness to stop such violence, and also encouragement as well as improved mechanisms from the government," an editorial from China Radio International stated following the hotel assault. "May this event prompt us to think and make changes."