Second man charged in home invasion, assault of elderly Bayside couple


A second man has been charged in a Bayside home invasion that left an elderly couple seriously injured, the district attorney’s office said. His alleged partner in crime, who is accused of helping him steal more than $15,000, was caught last year.

“The alleged victims in this case — both octogenarians — weren’t just robbed of their possessions,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “The defendant allegedly stole the couple’s sense of security that they were safe from harm in their own home.”

Vincente Barzola, 39, of Brooklyn, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday on burglary, robbery and assault charges, the district attorney’s office said.

Barzola, along with his accomplice, Christopher Ramirez, rang the doorbell of the couple’s 15th Avenue home on the afternoon of April 23, 2014, pretending to be from their co-op’s maintenance department, according to authorities.

Sofia Dima, then 85, answered, and the two men told her they needed a signature on a form. When she unlocked the door, they barged in, and Barzola punched her in the face, knocked her to the floor and pushed his foot to her chest, Brown said. He then choked her until she was unconscious. When she woke up, the home had been ransacked and her hands were bound with plastic ties, but she managed to alert a neighbor who called police.

Her husband, John Dima, then 87, was asleep in bed upstairs at the time. Ramirez found him there, pulled him to the floor, punched him in the back and the head, tied his hands and pepper sprayed his face, according to the district attorney.

The two took gold and diamond jewelry and a safe containing more than $15,000 in cash from the home.

The Dimas were taken to the hospital, where they spent five days recovering from their injuries. John Dima now needs a cane to walk as a result of injuries he suffered in the attack.

Ramirez, 24, was arrested on June 26 and arraigned on burglary, robbery and assault charges, prosecutors said. Both Ramirez and Barzola face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.


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