The 16-year-old had got off a bus in Gosport when she was approached from behind, at some time between 6pm and 6.45pm on Sunday.
She was in the Cameron Close and Agnew Road area when she noticed a man behind her, before she was robbed of £5.
A Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘She was walking home having got off a bus, and noticed someone behind her.
‘That person came up and grabbed her.
‘She was pulled to the floor and change fell out.’
He added: ‘The girl shouted out when it happened and gave him an elbow to the chest when she made her escape.’
The man was 6ft 1in, white, and of a medium build with dark auburn hair with ginger bits cut in a short back and sides style with a quiff.
He was wearing a black bomber jacket, police said.
The robber picked up loose change worth £5 that had fallen out of the victim’s pockets, police said.
The attack was condemned by ward councillor Linda Batty.
She said: ‘She must have been very upset. It can be quite dark around there so perhaps there is a need for brighter lighting.’
She said it was the first attack of its kind in that area that she had heard about for ‘a few years’.
Cllr Batty added: ‘It could possibly be seen as a sign of the times.
‘He must have been pretty desperate to scrabble around for such a small amount of money. The victim must be traumatised. She must have put up a good fight to get him off her. Good on her and my thoughts are with her.’
Cllr Batty urged women to stick together and to not walk alone to prevent attacks.
Anyone with information should call Detective Constable Tony Flanagan on 101 quoting 44160036221.