The intruder has been identified by police as 59-year-old Jonathan Kirby. Police say he is a transient.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, James Todd Smith, aka LL Cool J, heard commotion downstairs at about 1:30 a.m. and came down to the kitchen area to find the intruder in his home. The 44-year-old rapper punched the suspect and overpowered him.
He then pinned the suspect down until police arrived. Police say his daughter made the 911 call. No one was seriously injured, though police say the suspect suffered a few bruises.
"Of all the houses that guy could have picked, LL Cool J's was probably not his best choice," said neighbor Robbie Davis.
Davis said he called security around 12:30 a.m. after one of his guests reported seeing someone suspicious walking up the narrow street.
"When she left, she called us to say she saw somebody coming up the street that looked like a guy who just didn't belong here," he said.
On Wednesday morning, a black Mercedes-Benz drove out of LL's property, but no one stopped to give a comment. His representative said in a statement, "LL Cool J and his family are safe and thank everyone for their thoughts and concern. As a father, husband and citizen, he is committed to keeping his family safe and is cooperating with authorities on this private matter."
The rapper, actor and mixed martial artist rose to stardom with hit songs such as "Mama Said Knock You Out." But while he may be known for his tough guy image, neighbors describe him as a giant teddy bear.
"He's an absolute gentle giant. He's the nicest gentleman I've ever met. He's just the sweetest, kindest man and I'm just so glad he kicked butt," said Trudy Beach.
Police say Kirby has been booked on a burglary charge.