NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A 76-year-old veteran who was punched, pistol-whipped and tied up during a home invasion in Queens early Saturday morning has a message to his attackers and the sanitation workers who came to help him.
"I don't take no crap from nobody," Anthony Puzio, of Ozone Park, told CBS2's Dave Carlin after returning home from the hospital.
When Puzio was robbed and beaten, he says he did his best to fight back, but the early morning home invaders had the element of surprise, Carlin reported.
Sanitation Workers Find Man Bound At Wrists Following Queens Home Invasion
"He started punching, he hit me once over here with a gun and punched me on the side," Puzio said. "What a I going to do? I'm a 76-year-old man, he's about 30, maybe."
It was 6 a.m. when Puzio woke up and found a masked man with a gun who used a ladder to get through an open second-story window of his home on 101st Street, Carlin reported.
"'Where's the money? Where's the money?' That's all he said. I got no money," Puzio said.
Puzio's hands and feet were restrained with plastic ties. The ordeal lasted about two hours, Carlin reported.
The masked man went downstairs and let in a pair of accomplices.
Police said the two men and one woman took off with his wallet, $25 in cash, a television and other items.
After they left, Puzio was able to wriggle his legs free.
"The bottom was a little loose, it was tied with that plastic strap. I got out of it and I went downstairs," Puzio said.
As luck would have it, a pair of sanitation workers were in the right place at the right time to help him.
As 1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported, sanitation worker Joseph Felicetti and his partner Asmichael Bermudez were on their morning route when they encountered the victim as he came out of his house dazed and bleeding from the nose with his wrists still tied together.
"Took those restraints off his hands because he was zip-tied pretty tight, I mean his hands were swelling up and changing colors and everything," Felicetti said.
"I saw the gentleman come out of his house. He's in his underwear, he's naked. And I was a little confused thinking, what is he doing?" Bermudez said. "Then he walks up to the truck, shows me his hands, which were bound, and he was bleeding from his nose."
Bermudez added that he was happy to be able to help the man, Stern reported.
Puzio called the sanitation workers "good guys."
The victim's neighbor, Anthony Riccardi, said he was stunned to see his friend Tony bruised and bleeding.
"I noticed his face all bloody, black eye, blood all over his shirt. He was in his underwear. Blood all over his skin, fat lip…what the heck is going on?" Riccardi told CBS2's Mark Morgan.
While knowing this could have been much worse, residents said they're shaken.
"It scares me because I come home late at night and just that I could get robbed just walking home is really crazy," said Kristina Rivera.
Puzio was treated at Jamaica Hospital.
While he waits for his black eye and fractured nose to heal, he will add security bars to all top floor windows.
"I have window guards all over the place, but I don't up there. Can you believe it?"Puzio said.
The closest home security camera system is not working, and another difficulty for the investigation is that no one got a good look at the suspects' faces, including Puzio, Carlin reported.
So far, no arrests have been made in the case.
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