A Brooklyn man was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison for his role as the ringleader in a violent home invasion two years ago in North Bellmore, prosecutors said.
Eduardo Cruz, 37, is the fourth and final defendant convicted in the Sept. 19, 2011, attack, the Nassau County district attorney's office said.
Cruz was convicted in July of nine counts of first-degree robbery, five counts of first-degree burglary, five counts of second-degree robbery and multiple counts of unlawful imprisonment, weapons possession and assault, among other charges, prosecutors said.
Nassau County Court Judge Tammy S. Robbins sentenced Cruz to 25 years in prison.
The office of District Attorney Kathleen Rice provided the following account:
At about 8:30 a.m., Cruz and two others, Gustavo Arroyo and Carlos Segura, exited a car driven by Dario Guerrero and approached the home in North Bellmore.
Cruz entered through the unlocked front door and beat a female resident, then signaled to Arroyo and Segura.
"Segura, armed with a gun, and Cruz and Arroyo, both armed with knives, tied up three residents of the home and began to search for money," Rice said in a news release. "A fourth resident who lived in the home's basement was also tied up before having his cellphone and $350 stolen from him."
A male resident returned home during the robbery, and Arroyo grabbed him and tried to pull him into the house.
"The male resident broke free of Arroyo and ran from the house into the street screaming for help," Rice said.
The suspects fled to the car, driven by Guerrero, and Nassau police officers saw them driving east on Merrick Road into Merrick.
Cruz refused to be handcuffed and resisted arrest, prosecutors said.
"Segura and Guerrero jumped back into their car and drove straight at the officer," Rice said. "The officer fired at the vehicle, striking Guerrero in the left leg. Arroyo fled on foot but was arrested a short time later, as was Cruz."
Guerrero was arrested at a traffic stop in Wantagh; Segura was caught in a cab on the Southern State Parkway, heading to Brooklyn
Segura was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty. Guerrero was sentenced to 1 ¼ to 4 years after being convicted at trial. Arroyo's sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 26.
"Families should be able to feel secure in their own homes without worrying that a band of violent thugs is going to break into their home and terrorize them," Rice said.