Joey Archer, the Rainier, Wash., homeowner, disabled the suspect until authorities arrived and arrested him.
“I grabbed the shovel and yanked it out of his hand, and he had the butt of it, so I grabbed it, yanked it, and hooked him in the head with (it) twice just wham, wham," he told Seattle's KIRO-TV.
The unidentified suspect managed to climb over the fence onto their property. They said he spent time in their barn before he grabbed a shovel and tried prying open their car doors. When that failed, he shattered the car windows with the tool, according to the station.
“He was so out of his mind that he didn’t know to open the door, so he climbed up through the window,” Archer said.
Soon after, the man started to break into the house, leading the father to fight back.
“The only choice was to defeat the challenger, was to fight back, was to disable this person who was threatening my family,” he said.
Archer managed to take the shovel away from the man and subdue him in his front yard until deputies with the Thurston County Sheriff Office arrived, KIRO-TV reported.
The suspect, who the family said lives nearby, was arrested and faces charges that include residential burglary, criminal trespassing, and vehicle prowl.
Rainier is located about 60 miles south of Seattle.
The break-in left his young daughters terrified, which Archer described as, "every dad's worst nightmare."