"There was this guy sitting in my front seat, taking my car," Anthony Dizinno said.
Dizinno and his wife, Amanda, were heading out to dinner into the bitter cold. The couple was still inside their Franklin Square home as their SUV warmed up in the driveway. Suddenly, Anthony saw the car move backwards down the driveway.
"I'm thinking ok the car jumped out of park," he said. "So I ran out to get the car and put it in park or whatever. The car at that point started turning that way. I thought how could that car be turning itself?"
It wasn't. Police say Brito was behind the wheel, and drunk, after spotting the car idling in the driveway. He seized the opportunity for a new set of wheels.
He did not expect Anthony, 63, to grab hold of the car as it was moving and yank him out.
"We tussled. We wrestled. Got him down. He started getting up and I had him I hit him like that, Dizinno said.
Police say Dizinno struggled with Brito to gain control of the vehicle as it traveled westbound on Adams Avenue. The vehicle came to a stop approximately 50 feet down the road.
"He was trying to reach into his pocket and I didn't know if there was anything in there, but I kept holding his hands," Amanda Dizinno said. "He said 'I had a bad day,' and I wanted to say, 'Yeah, haven't we all.'"
Of course, Brito's day got even worse when cops arrived and arrested him on robbery and DWI charges. Police say this should serve as a lesson for car owners. When you go to warm up your car, remember it's better to sit in a cold car, than have somebody steal it.
Brito is charged with second-degree robbery, driving while ability impaired, driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired-combined influence, two counts of aggravated unlicensed and two counts of aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle.
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