A father lunged at his young daughter's captor as the man held a knife to the little girl's throat and yelled "I'll do it".
Beejay Pio was woken in the night by an intruder who police say held the 3-year-old girl at knifepoint in her home.
The Hamilton father-of-three leapt at the stranger when he was momentarily distracted by Pio's wife Akita, Stuff reported.
Akita Pio has spoken out about the terrifying ordeal after the intruder broke into her Pukete home at 12.30am today.
Beejay Pio was asleep on the couch of the rented Oakfield Cres home just after midnight when the 25-year-old intruder got in through a rear door.
She believes the man's intentions were sinister.
It's understood the man, named in the Hamilton District Court as Samuel Pearson of Ngāruawāhia, took a blunt knife from the kitchen draw before making his way into a child's bedroom, Stuff said.
"He's shut the drawer and gone straight to my kids' room."
Sleeping in adjacent beds were the couple's two daughters, aged 2 and 3.
"My husband woke up and he could see a weird figure down the hallway. He was half asleep and walked down there."
Confronted by Beejay Pio, Pearson allegedly grabbed the 3-year-old, pushed her head down and held the knife to her throat.
He began yelling at Pio to "Get away, get away, I'll do it", Stuff reported.
"There was just no humanity in him. He [Pio] knew he had to do something or he'd lose our daughter."
By this stage Akita Pio had woken and went running to the bedroom, catching Pearson off guard and distracting him, Stuff said.
"That's when my husband tackled him against the wall and began fighting him while he had the knife," Akita Pio said.
She grabbed the girls, and her 9-month-old baby, and ran to another room where she called the police.
In the children's bedroom the two men wrestled before Pearson was rendered unconscious in the fracas.
When the intruder came to, Pio said the man claimed to be confused, dazed and unaware of where he was.
"He was saying 'where am I'?"
Police arrived shortly after. They said both men were taken to Waikato Hospital with minor injuries.
Pio suffered cuts to his upper eye and a swollen face and lip.
Akita Pio told Stuff she was proud of her husband for his actions but urged others to consider security.
"If someone was in your child's room with a knife to their throat - what would you do?"
"In a moment like that you really don't have a second to think clearly. It's a reaction. Prepare yourself."
She said the couple was shaken by the incident.
"It all happened so fast. I'm just grateful my husband woke up when he did as we could have woken to much worse."
Pearson is facing charges of assault with a weapon with intent to escape, assault using a knife as a weapon and aggravated burglary.
His lawyer, Mike McIvor, made no application for bail for the man appeared in court this afternoon.
Pearson was remanded in custody without plea by Community Magistrate Ngaire Mascelle until November 1.
He was supported in court by family and friends who became emotional at the sight of him in the dock.