SAN ANTONIO -

A Northwest Side senior citizen, Joe Flores Sanchez, said despite suffering a beating while protecting a woman earlier this week, he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

“No man is going to hit a woman in front of me,” the 84-year-old said defiantly at his home Wednesday morning. “In this household, the lady is the queen of the house.”

Sanchez said he was attacked Monday soon after he answered a knock on his door.

He found a woman hiding near his door step, begging for help, he said.

A few minutes later, Sanchez said, a man, who he later found out was the woman’s boyfriend, ran up and reared back, as though he was preparing to punch her.

Sanchez said he then stood between the couple, and was beaten instead.

"I took the punches for her. He hit me right here,” he said, pointing to his still-bruised right cheek.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, police identified the alleged attacker as Michael Gonzales Cruz, a 26-year-old man whose listed address is right around the corner from Sanchez’s home.

Cruz (pictured below) was arrested Tuesday on a charge of causing injury to the elderly.

"I was raised in family violence,” said Sanchez, who vowed not to repeat the pattern in his adulthood.

Long before he took a punch for a stranger, the Korean War vet said he took a bullet in battle.

Sanchez also survived burns that he suffered during a fire in his Santa Barbara Street home three years ago.

The beating Monday left him with a swollen and bruised face, the affidavit stated.

Still, Sanchez said the most recent pain that he suffered won’t deter him from stepping in again when help is needed.

Michael Gonzales Cruz

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