The man is seen from a sidewalk cafe as he picks up an ashtray from a table and throws it towards the woman over the heads of the customers. Then he is eye to eye with her, waving his hands before making a swing and turning to leave.
The woman, Marie Laguerre, posted CCTV footage of the incident on her Facebook account and said she was on her way home last week when the man started whistling and making noises and "dirty words "They were demeaning and provocative when I passed him."
"Unfortunately, he was not the first that day and I was tired so I said, shut up" when I walked away " she wrote. "Because I can not tolerate this kind of behavior, I can not shut up and we can not shut up."
She described how the man threw the ashtray on her and followed her.
"He hit me in the street, in the middle of the day, in front of dozens of witnesses." I filed a complaint. "
The Paris prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident, although the man has not yet been identified.
Witnesses in the café stood up to confront the man, and they were seen on the video as they argued with him before he left.
"He's not the only one – harassment is every day – these men who think that anything on the street is allowed, that humiliate us and that can not be insulted, is unacceptable, it's time to end this behavior "Laguerre wrote.
Marlene Schiappa, French equal opportunities minister, said the violence in the video "shocked" people.
"I want to welcome the courage of this young woman, Marie, who has positioned herself as a whistleblower, and this allows people who were skeptical of sexual harassment to see what it really looks like," Schiappa told French radio RTL am Monday
The French Senate recently passed a bill to combat sexual violence in the country, which is formally not yet legally binding. Harassment in public, including catcalling, whistling or calling someone's phone number, could impose a fine of up to 750 euros ($ 876), calling for the bill
CNN Saskya Vandoorne reports from Paris while Gianluca Mezzofiore and Angela Dewan from London reported.