He's trained in Kung Fu and when he heard a woman screaming for help, he says he did what he thinks anyone would do.
"This is a tight knit community and we all try to help each other," said Mike Novak, a Sunnyside resident.
Mike Novak puts his money where his mouth is.
Around 5:45 Sunday morning, he was sleeping in his home in Sunnyside, Queens and his bedroom window was open so he could clearly hear someone screaming.
"This was, 'Help me, help me, stop, stop, get away from me, stop help,' like that," Novak said.
It was pitch dark; Novak bolted outside and saw two people struggling in these bushes, a man on top of a woman.
Instead of calling 911, he ran to help.
"I'm not going to stand around and let a woman who's obviously in distress, continue to be in distress, it's not the way I was raised and that's not the kind of man I am, I'm going to do something about it," Novak said.
He did do something about it.
The second the attacker saw Novak he took off running but got away.
"I was in bare feet and he had on sneakers so that's a fight I can't win. (If you had, had on sneakers?) It might be a different story right now," Novak said.
And an even different story, if this 54-year-old had caught up with the man, you see he studies Praying Mantis Kung Fu, a close combat form of the martial art, and has been for more than three decades.
"You don't want to be flowering or show off, you just want to get the guy, take the guy out as quickly as possible. (Going for the eyes and throat?) Yes, yes," Novak said.
Word spread fast about what Novak did.
"When this happens to somebody in our neighborhood streets, we rally and grateful, I'm not surprised," said Bright Owens, a neighbor.
The woman does live here in the neighborhood; she was coming home from a family gathering when she was attacked.
Novak tells Eyewitness News, after he chase the suspect off, he then turned his attention back to the victim.
"She was disheveled and made sure I got her out of the bushes and brought her in the house, my wife is a nurse so we were able to comfort her until the cops showed up," Novak said.
This isn't the first time he's stepped in to help.
Years ago, he witnessed two chain snatchings, and in one he actually caught the bad guy.
"You're a good guy to have around," Eyewitness News said.
"I try," Novak said.
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