"It's just a two-handed thing like that," Ann Timson said on NBC's "Today" show this morning.
On Feb. 7 in Northampton, England, Timson thought a child was being beaten up. Suffering from arthritis so serious she sometimes needs a wheelchair, Timson rushed to the scene, armed with just the black bag that held only a smaller purse and a newspaper.
With every strike, she implored them to leave. "I think every time I whacked I said, 'Go off,'" she said.
"They had mega helmets on," she told "Today" of the men who approached the store on motorbikes. "It was not going to impact on them as hurt but hopefully it would distract them from doing what they were doing."
Though she first thought she was going to help save a child, once she came upon the would-be robbers, she couldn't stop, said Timson, who had long fought prostitution and drug dealers in her neighborhood.
"In for a penny, in for a pound," she said. "The adrenaline got going. The second thought was how dare they do a daylight robbery. I was mad."
But her efforts brought her face-to-face with one of the would-be robbers, who threatened her with a sledgehammer.
"I didn't even know he had the hammer in his hand," she said in the NBC interview. "And that's when he stood up and threatened me with it. We just stood off, eyeball to eyeball, and he just put it down. I think he realized I was just an old biddy anyway."
When it was all over, Timson finally sat down, and the gravity of what had just happened began to sink in.
"When I did stand still for a second, my lips were trembling," she recalled. "I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, what will my son say?'"
That son, Andre Dash, who lives in Connecticut, recalled on "Today" that a newspaper reporter called him before even he knew what had happened. "I was speechless," he said.
With four of the suspects charged with robbery and vehicle theft, Timson insists that what she did is not extraordinary.
"I'm not a hero or a heroine or a 'Supergran,'" she said, her granddaughter and son beside her. "I'm just a mum that went in thinking a kid was being hit."
The handbag, meanwhile, may be put up for auction. "Maybe we can give the funds to charity. If anybody wants to buy it, they're more than welcome," Timson said.