SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Christine Youkhaneh says she was nearly killed when a female burglar went on the attack, clubbing her repeatedly on the head with a large stick during an attempted home invasion robbery.

“She just tried to push me back to hit me,” the 76-year-old Youkhaneh said of the Sunday attack on her back porch.”She just kept hitting me.”

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Youkhaneh stumbled inside her home and called to her 82-year-old husband Yousef for help.

“She tried to come inside so locked the door,” she told KPIX 5. “I run in and told my husband — ‘Catch her, she broke my head.”

Seeing his bloodied wife, Yousef charged into action.

“Her body was all bloody,” her husband of 53 years said.

Yousef grappled with the 50-year-old transient woman who now was armed with a sharp gardening tool.

“She tried to bite me and gouging me with her fingers,” he said. “She fight like a tiger.”

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But Yousef was not ready to back down. His struggle with the woman tumbled out onto the sidewalk and he called to others for help. But they did not come to his aid.

“People just watched like it was a movie,” he said.

Undaunted, he held the woman until deputies arrived.

“With all my power I did that,” he said.

Yousef was born in Syria and is a former weight lifting champion. He still does some modified workouts to keep up his strength in his garage gym.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office posted a photo of deputies with Yousef on Twitter, saying that “many times we meet citizens we see as heroes. Yousef, 82, defended his wife from an attacking burglar and held the suspect till we arrived!”

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“I am right or maybe I am wrong, but I do my duty,” he said. “I must protect myself, my family, my home, my country.”