"This guy looked suspicious and I got uneasy," said Ruiz.
The 45-year-old was cleaning her windows when Cristhian Bonilla allegedly jumped in her vehicle.
"When I saw him inside, I run inside and I was hitting him," Ruiz described.
At 4 foot 11 inches tall and weighing just over 100 pounds, Ruiz took on the 6-foot suspect, twice her weight.
"I try to take the keys and was just pulling and pulling," she said.
Bonilla allegedly tried another set of keys in the ignition as Ruiz continued to hit him.
"I said, 'Police! Police!' Then he ran out," she said.
Fifteen minutes after the attempted carjacking, deputies found the suspect across the street.
Soon after, a deputy identified Bonilla as the same man allegedly seen nearby in a disabled vehicle on the 5 Freeway right before he tried to carjack Ruiz.
"That car was stolen from the city of Los Angles," said O.C. Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino.
Ruiz, who works as a caregiver for elderly patients, says she fought back because she needs her vehicle to get to work.
"You get upset. You don't want somebody to rob what you have," said Ruiz.
"She did a brave thing, and she's a very small person. Usually, we advise to cooperate with the suspect," said Amormino.
Bonilla faces charges including possession of stolen property and carjacking.
"I was very scared. I don't want this to happen to nobody. You never know when it's your last day," said Ruiz.
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