A 78-year-old Warren woman found herself fighting off an assailant early Friday morning after breaking in to her home.

Sharon Richardson says a man broke into her home as she slept on Norwood Street on Warren's Westside at around 3 a.m.

"I looked and this man is there, this man is standing there by my bed, so I said, who are you? Get out of my room," said Richardson.

She tried to grab her glasses to see better,  but her attacker grabbed them and her phone and flung them across the room.

She tried to turn on the light next to her bed but the masked intruder had removed the light bulb.

Next, she says the assailant tried to sexually assault her.

"He threw the sheet aside, and he tried to reach in and grabbed my panties and I really started hitting him," said Richardson.

The retired teacher tells us that for around 15 to 20 minutes she would try to sit up, and he would push her down. All the while fighting back.

Richardson said, "You don't want to do this. I'm 78-years-old and that is the thing that seemed to stop him."

It was that personal comment that counselors believe may have connected with the attempted rapist and made her human to him, so the man left.

The suspect who terrorized the retired teacher in the normally quiet neighborhood is described as having a stocky build, around 5'9" or 5'10" tall.

He was wearing a ski mask, had on heavy wool-like gloves that were rough, a flannel shirt, and jeans.

The retired teacher tells WFMJ News, "I've always heard don't fight and stuff, but I couldn't help it. I wouldn't have done it any other way."

Richardson is warning others to check all windows and doors before they go to sleep at night to make sure they are locked.

Relatives and friends have been staying over around the clock to watch over her.

Warren detectives are investigating.