Lydia Padilla, 67, had just arrived home from a trip Wednesday when, she says, she found a man hiding behind her door.
“And I looked, he came out, and I screamed! I screamed! And that’s when he jumped me,” said Padilla.
She says he grabbed her face and tried to hush her, but she fought back.
“He was so strong that I felt he could have snapped my neck in any minute and I would’ve died, that’s what I felt,” said Padilla.
Padilla says he left small bruises.
“I have a bruise [on my elbow], and I have a bruise [on my leg] where he threw me against the wall, and just soreness all around my jawline because he grabbed me so hard on my face,” said Padilla.
She says something startled the man. Padilla ran away and so did he.
Two good Samaritans saw the commotion and called police.
Officers arrested 29-year-old Andre Paul, Padilla’s next door neighbor.
Padilla believes Paul had been living in her home while she was away. She says she found food in the house.
“Something is wrong with him,” said Trenicia Paul, the suspect’s wife.
Trenicia Paul told CBS4’s Gio Benitez she is devastated. She feels sorry for Padilla, but says her husband has a drug problem and needs treatment.
“Come on, who in their right mind would go in somebody’s house next door, and go to sleep, and live there, when your wife got the best house on the block,” said Trenicia Paul.
Either way, she says she supports her husband till the end .
“I got his back till the end, right or wrong, thick or thin, I got your back! So if you see me right now baby, I got your back! Cause I know you need help! Even though nobody else does! Believe that,” said Trenicia Paul.
“I don’t know what he had planned for me, but I just felt that he was going to kill me,” said Padilla.