Five suspects got into this Silver Spring apartment building Tuesday and held occupants of one unit captive overnight, according to police. (Montgomery County Police)

Five would-be robbers talked their way into an apartment in Silver Spring on Tuesday, bound four adults and held them captive all night in an effort to gain access to a nearby check-cashing business where the intruders knew one of the occupants worked, according to Montgomery County authorities.

About 8 a.m. the next day, one of the intruders assaulted a male occupant with a knife. The occupant disarmed the attacker even as he continued to be restrained, causing the intruders to flee, said Capt. Paul Starks, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Police Department.

“This was a horrific crime. It could have been a lot worse,” Starks said Wednesday.

One child — a 7-year-old boy — was home in the apartment at the time of the incident, but he may have slept through the ordeal, Starks said.

He said the invaders targeted the apartment to try to find a way to gain access to the check-cashing business.

Starks would not say exactly how the men had planned to get into the business or whether they succeeded.

The home invasion occurred in a brick apartment building along Manchester Road, about one mile east of downtown Silver Spring.

“This is a diverse neighborhood full of hard-working people who have a purpose,” Starks said.

After the intruders fled, the occupants were able to call 911. Medics treated the man who had fought back, and he was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Based on initial findings, detectives think the invaders arrived at the apartment about 9 p.m. Tuesday and knocked on the door.

At the time, two men and the 7-year-old were inside. The intruders used an undisclosed ruse to get inside.

A short time later, police said, a female occupant arrived, and a second female occupant arrived home around midnight. All four adult occupants were bound, according to police.

Police ask anyone with information about the crime to call 240-773-5070. For those who wish to remain anonymous or be eligible for a reward of up to $10,000, the number to call is 866-411-TIPS (8477).