SOUTH PASADENA (CBS) — A 79-year-old South Pasadena woman Monday was allegedly nearly killed by a parolee who broke into her home, but family members interrupted the assault.

The incident happened at 7:40 a.m. in the 1000 block of Indiana Avenue.

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The elderly woman told her daughter she spotted a man in a “suit” walking down her street.  She didn’t think much of it until he turned up inside her home.

“She turned around and there he was in her house,” said the victim’s daughter, who wished to remain unidentified.

The suspect, career criminal Alonzo Johnson, 50, asked the victim to charge his cellphone.

When the woman told him to leave, the suspect threatened to kill her with a kitchen knife. He allegedly forced her into a bedroom and attempted to tie her hands behind her back while beating her.

“He grabbed her by the hair and dragged her into the bedroom. (He) threw her down on the bed and was trying to bind her,” said the daughter.

Before he finished tying her up, her three grandchildren walked into the home and Johnson fled.

“I believe (he) would have killed her if the children had not interrupted the assault,” the daughter said.

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The suspect was captured in the 5100 block of Huntington Drive in Los Angeles.

He was booked at Los Angeles County Jail on suspicion of multiple crimes, including attempted murder and burglary.

The man has “a significant violent criminal past,” according to a South Pasadena police statement.

Johnson has been in and out of jail for decades with a rap sheet that’s 42 pages long.

“He gets sentenced to four years. Four years later, he gets sentenced to 10 years. Seven years later, he gets sentenced to another four years and last year, he violated his parole,” said Det. William Early.

It’s not clear why Johnson was released so many times, but police said with prison overcrowding, it’s something they see far too often.

“We arrest these guys, the victims are victimized for life, yet they do a portion of their time and they’re out,” said Early.

The victim is in intensive care at the hospital. CBS2’s Carter Evans said she was beaten so badly, her brain may be bleeding.

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