A Manhattan man has been arrested in the killing of Dionel Ramirez, who was hit with his own car as it was being stolen from a 7-Eleven parking lot last month, Suffolk County police said.
Suffolk homicide detectives, with help from the U.S. Marshals Service New York / New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, arrested Edwin Gutierrez on Friday.
He was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and third-degree attempted grand larceny.
Gutierrez, 48, is charged with stealing Ramirez's Hyundai while it was parked in the North Bay Shore 7-Eleven parking lot with the driver's door open and the engine running before dawn on Nov. 28.
Ramirez, 69, tried to stop Gutierrez and was struck and killed by his Hyundai, police said.
Gutierrez sped off, and the car was found abandoned nearby a short time later, police said.
Gutierrez was arrested at West 156th Street and Broadway in Washington Heights late Friday afternoon, said Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, commanding officer of the Suffolk homicide squad. He had been on Long Island visiting relatives on Thanksgiving weekend, Beyrer said.
In addition to robbery and murder, the attempted grand larceny charge was issued because Gutierrez allegedly tried to steal another car in the 7-Eleven parking lot less than an hour before he took Ramirez's car, Beyrer said. "The owner approached him and he [Gutierrez] got out of the car," which also had been left unlocked, Beyrer said. "It was shortly before the incident."
Ramirez, of North Amityville, was an Army veteran from Guatemala who was picking up surplus food from the Pine Aire Drive convenience store to hand out to homeless people, something he did several times a week, family and 7-Eleven officials said.
Gutierrez, of 559 W. 156th St., will be held overnight at the Third Precinct in Bay Shore and is scheduled to be arraigned Sunday at First District Court in Central Islip.