Four masked men barged in and demanded money and drugs, incorrectly thinking it was the home of a drug dealer.
It happened just after 4 a.m. Thursday on Newkirk Avenue in the Hudson County town of North Bergen.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 25 to 30 years old, 5'9" to 5'11" tall, light complexion, approximately 180 lbs., possibly of Dominican descent.
Rolando Perdomo's head, arms and legs are covered with welts and scars after a gunman pressed the barrel of a gun so hard against his head that it left a print.
"I wake up with two or three guys on top of myself, hitting everywhere on my body," he said. "They were hitting my head."
At least four men armed with a gun, a knife and a crowbar broke in and demanded drugs and cash. They tied up Perdomo, his wife and the couple's 8-year-old daughter.
"I think I'm gonna die," he said. "I think he wants to kill me and all my family. But you know what? I'm still alive, and my family, too."
The gunmen somehow thought Perdomo was a drug dealer.
"This is a working class family," North Bergen Police Chief Robert Dowd said. "They only had a couple hundred dollars in the house, I mean what any normal family would have in this economy."
Then the suspects turned away for just a moment, and Perdomo made the most of it.
"I ran into the sliding door, and I broke the window," Perdomo said. "I broke the glass, and I yelled, 'Police! Police! Police!' And the guys, in the moment that happened, they got out of my house."
The shattered glass cut up his legs and arms, but he and his family survived because he was brave enough to charge through glass to save his family.
"Very brave action to protect a family that he loves, and very cowardly people that pulled an act like this," Dowd said. "We're going to do our best to put them in jail."
The men were wearing masks, but police say they left behind crucial clues in their hasty escape. That includes fingerprints and DNA evidence, and authorities are hoping they will lead to arrests.