NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Staten Island grandmother says she thought she was going to die when a man armed with a knife forced his way inside of her home while she was taking care of her young granddaughter.

NYPD officers swarmed Tottenville around 9 a.m. Monday after receiving reports of a burglary inside a home on Manhattan Street and a grandmother who feared for her life.

“I was thinking I was going to die. That was the first thought in my head, I’m going to die today,” 58-year-old Stacie Vota told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.

Vota says she was inside, holding her little granddaughter, when the doorbell rang.

She says she looked out to see who it was and thought she recognized the person as someone who did work on her house.

But when she cracked the door open, she says all hell broke loose.

“He grabs me on my stomach and pushes me in and comes into the house with me,” Vota said.

Fearing for her own safety, and more importantly the safety of her granddaughter, she said she did the only thing she could possibly do — she fought back.

“I started punching him and he was grabbing at me. And I was grabbing at him and I was punching his face and kicking him,” Vota said.

She says her fight instinct came from her granddaughter.

“The baby was behind me and I knew, I knew that I had to protect that baby. My granddaughter,” she said.

She said she managed to open the front door and scream for help.

The perp fled, running through the kitchen and out the back door.

Police scoured the neighborhood, but the suspect got away. He has yet to be caught.

Vota says perhaps the scariest moment of all happened when she went to check on her granddaughter in the kitchen. The suspect had left something terrifying behind.

“I came back in. The baby was screaming, so I ran in to get the baby. When I looked down, there was a gigantic steak knife there that he had dropped,” she said.

She says thankfully, besides some bruises and soreness, she is OK and her granddaughter was not injured.

She believes could’ve been so much worse.

“How surprised do you think he was that you fought back?” CBS2’s Scott Rapoport asked.

“Oh, I think he was very surprised,” Vota said.

Vota says she hopes police catch the suspect so he can’t attack anyone else.

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