92-Year-Old Man Fights Off Home Invader In New Rochelle

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…

  • marc maturo

    Tough Tony, god bless you. You follow in the footsteps of other Tough Tonys such as Two-Ton Tony Galento, Tony Zale, the Man of Steel, and James Toney! My only regret is that the creep wasn’t knocked out for good, and I mean the REAL good. May Tough Tony keep punching until 100 and beyond.
    Wonder if his trainer was either Scoop Gallelo, or maybe Bob Cremins ..
    Happy New Year
    I would love for Dennis May or Frankie Corvino or Doug DeWitt to handle the creep on Tough Tony’s behalf.

    • PaPa Joe

      Marc, you’re giving away your age, and mine too. I’d like to give my age away but nobody seems to want it, so, I guess I’ll keep it.

  • soccermama

    Mr. Vanacore, you are my hero! Thank you for fighting off that creep.

  • Mr. Roboto

    Congratulations on delivering a punk to the authorities. Too bad so many people feel the need to twist a good story into some idiotic rant on personal opinion topics.

  • jerseyjoey

    Now liberals, you going to find fault with this brave 92 year old defending his home and family, If he had a nice say 38 pistol he would not have needed to break a sweat. This Guy should be called Hero of New Rochelle. Yet another good reason e1 should own a gun.

    • Michael H.

      This liberal thinks the elderly gentleman did a fine job defending himself and his home. A pistol would have only made it a faster fight.

  • bullett

    An ageless “Rocky”. Guess the perp was more of a punk then a tough guy.

  • RitaAnn Newton

    Hey Pops, That’s amazing! We’ll have to call you The Italian Stallion from here on!!

  • Larry Schwarz

    Tony should have killed the punk.He could have.Just a reasonable belief that his life was in danger would warrant deadly force,and one more criminal,Dead.

  • thor's hammer

    glad tony & his caregiver are okay. to the lowlife perp: how dare you. hear that ticking inside your head? your time breathing the air of decent people is winding down. assault & battery, breaking & entering in the daytime, felony assault on an elderly person is long time in the big house. your cell should be no more than 4 ft in diameter, no tv/phone/computer/free education, 2 hrs of electric and a slot for 2 meals a day. there’s no excuse for your crime, so your public defender should save his breath. we really should let your own grandparents give you a going away whooping before the cell door closes on your sorry arse. justice for tony & mariana!

  • C. Scheiner

    You can’t mention God or the unbelieving trash jump all over you, don’t they? They are so tolerant yet they call people fools and idiots and weak for believing in a God who made the universe. They are full of hate. Ignore them. God bless you, Tony!

    • Michael H.

      Give me something I can touch and measure in a controlled environment and I will give your god a chance, just like any other idea that can and should be tested before attributing any sort of “truth” to it.

  • Jeff

    This is significant news. Now we know what god is, it’s a rush of adrenaline. We can finally put to rest one of the most contentious debates in human history, whether god exists and what or who it is. God is a rush of adrenaline. Makes sense to me, it explains so much about people, what they think, what they feel. So no one, are you listening Bill M. no one has to get their dander up when some sportsman claims god was on his side when he won. God is an adrenaline rush, that’s all we need to know, and now all those winning sportsmen claiming that god was on their side don’t sound quite so foolish anymore. We owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude Mr. Vanacore.

    • John

      You are a fool, god had nothing to do with this. Why is it when something happens that is extraordary, you religious sheeple have a nice and tidy explanation: God did it…. or as you so eloquently put it “God is an adrenaline rush”?

      Religion are fairy tales for the weak.

      • John

        Before the spelling/ grammar police arrest me..


      • Mik

        Congratulations, your irony bypass operation appears to have been a complete success.

      • Michael H.

        John, you need to re-read Jeff’s comment. He was saying that what most attribute to “god” is actually a chemical reaction in the human body that provides an extra boost of strength or energy, allowing such feats as running 99 yards to a touchdown, a mother lifting a vehicle off of her child, or a 90+ year old man fighting off an attacker with nothing but his fists.

        If an athlete like Tebow thinks his god is blessing him with touchdowns while children around the world are starving and wars are being waged in his/her/its name, then there is a serious egotistical complex going on.

        • jerseyjoey

          You seem to have your heart in the right place but the reality of life has no compassion, there will be war, there will be starving children abroad and here, there will be greed and suffering its the makeup of our being or genetics if you prefer. Like the teachings of the budas , cristos, mohamad etc, none of these will work unless e! is the same in thought and that will never be, cause we are independent thinkers, me i believe in God: only a supreme being with a devine sense of humor could have come up with us.

  • Raymond Leslie

    The perp obviously escaped bloombergs gulag.

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