Good Samaritan Helps Protect Elderly Woman after Man Breaks Into Apartment

WOODBRIDGE -- A San Joaquin County construction worker is being praised for his "good eye and big heart" for saving a woman in her 80s from an intruder.

Cell phone video of the incident is shakey, but it's clear that Matt Riccio put his life on the line for a stranger.

"If I hadn’t followed him, I don't know what would happen to that lady," Riccio said.

Riccio says he was finishing up a job on Indiana Street in Woodbridge Thursday afternoon when he saw a man behaving strangely.

"He was crazy, on drugs, and he was just talked about God and Jesus," he said.

Riccio says the man kicked in a door at a nearby apartment, where a woman in her 80s with a broken foot lives.

"(He) grabbed her by the shoulder, that's when I grabbed his arm," Riccio said. "'No, no, no, no, no, you’re not doing that.'"

Setting his own fear aside, he followed the stranger and called 911.

"The first thing he did was contact law enforcement and he was able to keep himself safe and the elderly woman safe until we arrived on scene," San Joaquin Sheriff's Deputy Andrea Lopez said.

Riccio says the man was unusually strong and would not let go of his leg. Meanwhile, the woman tried her best to fight the stranger off.

"She comes up with the cane and she starts poking him and I’m like, 'No, honey, no,'" Riccio said.

Deputies arrived minutes later.

Deputies say they tried to pull the suspect off of Riccio, they tried to use a taser, but what ultimately worked was a K-9 named Admiral.

The man was taken to the hospital.

Riccio says he doesn't consider himself a hero, but he still had one job left to do -- make sure no one else could break into the woman's apartment.

"We were already packed up," Riccio said. "We were already done for work and everything and he said, 'Just go home,' and I was like, 'No, I gotta go help fix the door.'"

Google Map for coordinates 38.153972 by -121.300859.

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