MANCHESTER - Artemios Dongas loved delivering pizzas in his retirement. Not anymore.
Thursday night, he was asked by Santoro's Pizza of Manchester to help out on what was a busy time. He took a $50 pizza order to 270 Lake Ave. shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday. The men at the door snatched the pizza away, sucker punched him in the face and kicked him after he fell to the ground.
The 65-year-old retired owner of a successful cleaning company suffered five broken ribs and a large cut below his nose. While he was relieved that tests at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon turned up no bleeding on his brain, he said he couldn't sit down Friday night because it hurt too much to stand back up.
Neither attacker spoke to Dongas during the assault, he said.
Dongas said he has delivered pizzas for the last 15 years as a way to pick up extra cash and "for fun." The men - he described them as two black men - stole his cash, his driver's license and his sense of sanctity, he said.
"No more," Dongas said when asked if he would deliver pizzas again. "I am afraid to do that anymore."
Dongas' driver's license was returned Friday by a woman his family didn't recognize, he said. They refused to open the door for her and, when a reporter visited their home Friday evening, the family demanded to see identification before unlocking the door.
"We just don't feel safe," said his daughter, Sophia Khawlane. "My dad's been not just physically traumatized but emotionally as well."
"We won't ever open the door again," Dongas said. "We are afraid."
Khawlane said the family always had felt safe in Manchester since moving her 34 years ago.
"We never had any problems," she said.
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call police at 668-8711. Anonymous tips for cash rewards may be made through Manchester Crimeline at 624-4040 or online at manchestercrimeline.org.
"It's sickening," Khawlane said of the robbery. "The bottom line is we hope they catch these two criminals."
- - - - - - - -Tim Buckland may be reached at email@example.com.