Published: Sep 24, 2010 11:38 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 24, 2010 8:22 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, FL-A Fort Myers homeowner chases down the man he says stole his girlfriend's purse right in front of his eyes.

Victim Samuel Graham says, "He came through this sliding door, which obviously makes a lot of noise, reached in, grabs my girlfriends purse."

Through a mirror in the home Samuel Graham says he watched the thief steal the purse.
He immediately sprung into action.

He says, "It was just an instant reaction to stop him, at all costs."

Out the door, through the yard, and over this fence, deputies say Graham chased 54 year old Vernon Jackson.
The men fought in a water filled ditch near the home.

"I hit him with elbows, I punched him, I bent his elbow backwards."

Graham says Jackson hardly even flinched.

"He tried to fish hook me, he tried to hook my mouth to get me off of him."

Graham wasn't letting go.

"He said, please don't hit me, I'm high on crack."

Finally graham  says his asthma caught up with him and Jackson got away.

"He just bolted and shot down the road and was gone."

Graham was was treated for high blood pressure and asthma at the hospital.
Deputies say graham picked jackson out of a photo line up. He was arrested yesterday.

Graham says he's still in shock.

"I wouldn't break into my house, I would assume that I would shoot me."

He's glad it didn't come to that, and instead Jackson is behind bars.

"Who is to say when he goes into the next house that he won't hurt someone to get what he's trying to get."