BAYSIDE (WABC) --Police have arrested a man in connection with an April home invasion that happened in broad daylight and left two elderly residents injured.
Christopher Ramirez, 24, was taken into custody Wednesday, suspected of the incident at the Bayside, Queens home.
Investigators said the suspects came to a home at 212-03 15th Ave., in Bayside at about 2:20 p.m. April 23. The two knocked on the door and claimed they were maintenance workers.
When the homeowner opened the door, police said the suspects pushed their way inside, assaulted the 85-year-old Sofia Dima and her 86-year-old husband, John Dima, then ransacked the home and fled on foot.
John and Sofia Dima wish they could forget that day.
"He was punching me in the back, punching me in my back," said John Dima. "I said 'Don't hurt us. Don't hurt us. Take anything you want. Please don't hurt us ... he didn't say a word.'"
"He put his hands to my throat. I thought I was gone," said Sofia Dima.
The Dimas recently updated their home and believe a worker likely noticed a safe in their closet. The robbers made off with jewelry and $15,000 in cash.
"They took everything, everything I worked so hard for, everything I saved," said Sofia Dima.
The couple was taken to New York Hospital in Queens with serious injuries and spent five days there -- some of it in intensive care. The incident left people in the quiet, residential community rattled.
"I see this poor woman lying down in horrific pain, blood all over her face, her face totally swollen, and she kept saying, 'Help me, help me, my husband, my husband," said Larry Frey, a neighbor.
Linda, who wanted to be known only by her first name, is a Bay Terrace resident and said that everyone in the neighborhood knows the maintenance men there.
"There are so many elderly people here who would willingly open the door, especially if they said 'maintenance man,'" she said. The maintenance men "do come around every once in a while."
Another Bay Terrace resident, who asked to be referred to only as Dee, said it is a trusting neighborhood. "A lot of people, especially the originals as they call themselves, they trust the people who work here," she said. "It's terrible. It really is."
On Thursday night, Sofia Dima said she is relieved a suspect was caught. "The next person might be as lucky as my husband and I. That's why I'm glad that they got him."