Still recovering from a skydiving accident last fall that shattered his pelvis and right leg, Ahmad Jodeh was taking a nap when a loud noise outside his apartment woke him up.
The noise was an apparent break-in at a neighbor's unit — and Jodeh reacted quickly.
"Looked through the peephole and there's a guy smashing through the door. I chased after him and I caught him probably about two-thirds of the way down the stairs," Jodeh told San Francisco's KGO-TV. "And we kind of wrestled around on the ground."
But Monday night's tussle — which police said involved the pair tumbling down the stairs — wasn't over by a long shot. Police said the burglary suspect, James Murdaugh, had a stun gun and threatened to use it on Jodeh.
"He tried to tase me and I got the Taser away from him and then he stabbed me with his screwdriver that he was using to pry open the door, like a 12-inch big screwdriver," Jodeh said, adding that it was his skydiving-injured right leg that received the stab wound.
But Jodeh said he still managed to pin the 51-year-old suspect until police arrived, KTVU reported. Murdaugh had been paroled and allegedly tried to swipe a bag of jewelry from the unit at the Boulders Apartments in Walnut Creek, but the jewelry was recovered, according to KTVU.
Murdaugh is being held on the parole violation and likely faces charges for residential burglary and assault with a deadly weapon, KGO reported.
Given his already injured body and the danger he faced by intervening, Jodeh gave a compelling reason for his actions.
"In order for evil to triumph, it only requires good men to do nothing," he told KGO, paraphrasing the saying attributed to Irish statesman Edmund Burke. "Everybody needs to do what's right."
"The way I measure it is, I hope somebody would do that for me," Jodeh added to KTVU.