SAN JOSE, CA (KPIX/CNN) – An elderly California man is being called a hero after a home invasion gone wrong Sunday where the would-be robber attacked the man’s wife.
Christina Youkhaneh, 74, says she was nearly killed when a female burglar went on the attack, clubbing her in the head with a stick.
"She tried to push me back to hit me and then just hit me several times,” Christina Youkhaneh said.
The would-be robber then tried to get inside the woman’s house, but Christina Youkhaneh locked her out, she says
“I locked the door, and I ran in and told my husband, ‘Catch her, she broke my head,’” Christina Youkhaneh said.
Yousef Youkhaneh, Christina’s husband of 53 years, came quickly.
"Her body was all bloody,” said Yousef Youkhaneh, 82, of his wife.
By that time, the intruder was wielding a sharp garden tool. Yousef Youkhaneh says he grabbed it away from her and started fighting.
"She tried [to] bite me and scratch me with [her] fingers. Really, she fought for running away, like [a] tiger,” he said.
The 82-year-old says the struggle continued to the sidewalk. Nearly exhausted, he asked bystanders for help, but no one stepped in.
"People were just watching it like a movie,” Yousef Youkhaneh said.
The man held the suspect, 50-year-old Rehnu Singh, for several more minutes until deputies arrived.
"With all my power, I did that job,” he said.
The deputies arrested Singh and took her to jail.
Many times we meet citizens we see as heroes. Yousef, 82, defended his wife from an attacking burglar & held the suspect till we arrived! pic.twitter.com/Aj006pPrIN
— SantaClaraCoSheriff (@SCCoSheriff) May 29, 2017
Yousef Youkhaneh, an Assyrian born in Iran, is a former champion weightlifter. He has a homemade gym in his garage, which he still uses daily.
Deputies posed with the man and tweeted out a picture of him, calling him a hero, but the 82-year-old and his wife disagree.
"Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong, but I do my duty. I must protect myself, my family, my home, my country,” Yousef Youkhaneh said.
His wife agrees the deed was part of her husband’s duties.
"He's supposed to do that because she tried to kill his wife,” Christina Youkhaneh said.
Copyright 2017 KPIX, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office via CNN. All rights reserved.