WEST COVINA (CBSLA)  — Neighbors of a West Covina neighborhood are fed up with home invasions and attacks.

KCAL9’s Robert Gray spoke to one homeowner who tried to fight back.

The violent suspect has residents on edge. And literally fighting mad.

“I almost had him.” says Harold Cox., “I almost had him.”

He came face-to-face with Christopher Phillip Arenas in his living room late Thursday night.

Cox had no idea that Arenas is the suspect in a series of crimes in the area including the  severe beating of a 68-year-old woman and stealing and wrecking a car. Police said he was also responsible for breaking into several homes.

The homeowner says he grabbed a nutcracker and went after the intruder.

“As I chased him along, not knowing that this window had even been damaged, he just barreled through it, the blinds. And out the window.”

Gray asked how Arenas reacted when he saw Cox, a large man.

“He screamed bloody murder,” Cox said, “Screaming like a banshee. I don’t know if it was the size of me or if he thought I had a weapon, but he just took off.”

Police say Arenas lost his shorts and cellphone while jumping a fence to escape.

Another neighbor told Gray off-camera that he caught the suspect on video inside his home.

The police also have video of Arenas just before he stole a car and headed for the Shadow Oak Park neighborhood.

Rose De Ocampo grew up on this street and is disconcerted by the break-ins.

“The reaction is scary. We’re all on alert with who goes through this neighborhood now,” De Ocampo says.

Neighbrs told Gray they’re stepping up their home security and sharing a home security alert through an on-line app.

West Covina Police say Arenas has a long record and he is dangerous. Anyone who has information on his whereabouts is asked to call police.

(UPDATE: Arenas was arrested Saturday evening before midnight. Police said he was hiding behind a pizza place in West Covina.)

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