NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 92-year-old New Rochelle man is credited with driving a home invader back into the street with a surprising burst of bravery.

“You keep your left hand out and counterpunch,” Tony Vanacore told CBS2’s Lou Young.

Vanacore was recounting the boxing training from his youth that came in handy on Thursday, when he fought off a home invader who was less than half his age.

1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports

An intruder entered Vanacore’s home through the unlocked front door where he was met by Vanacore’s caregiver, Mariana. Mariana and the intruder were struggling on a staircase when Vanacore got up and joined the fight.

“I pulled his hat off his head to see what the hell he looked like.  He had his hat down to his eyes, and then I ran up to dial 911. He ran up after me and shut the phone off and I re-dialed and he ran away,” said Vanacore.

New Rochelle Police have the phone with the perpetrator’s fingerprints on it and believe that they have a good chance at catching the would-be robber.

Sources say that there is a possibility that the shocked criminal may have been involved in home invasions in Pelham Manor and Mount Vernon. In those instances the victims were considered easy prey. In this case, the invader was wrong.

“The funny thing is, I use a walker, but when all this was happening, I was running without no help and fighting with him because he was harming my caretaker. I gave him some pretty good shots. He gave me some shots too.  I got bruises,” said Vanacore.

Vanacore and his caretaker are doing fine following the altercation. Some people are crediting Vanacore’s youthful burst of energy to adrenaline, but Tony said that it was something else.

“God. God gave me the strength to protect my lady,” he said

Vanacore has lived in that house for more than 50 years and said that he has finally been convinced to start locking his front door.

What do you think of Tony’s brave home defense? Let us know in our comments section below…

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