A deli owner in Brooklyn fell victim to a brutal hate crime. He was attacked with a metal pipe, but has recently returned to work despite his lingering fears. Jamal Sawaid, a dedicated entrepreneur, was assaulted by a group of four men in his Coney Island store last week.
In an interview with his wife, Marie Shahzada, she revealed that he remains worried that the attackers may come back for him, but the need to provide for his family has driven him to resume work.
The incident has not only affected Sawaid, but has also negatively impacted his business due to the violence.
Sawaid, a 58-year-old Yemeni immigrant, has been a part of the Coney Island community for more than 20 years. On the day of the attack, the four assailants entered his store, insulted him with a racial slur, and proceeded to hit him in the face and head before attacking him with a metal pipe.
Despite the traumatic experience, Sawaid returned to work the following day.
Shahzada described her husband as a workaholic, who prioritizes providing for his family. She recounted the events of the attack, which began with one of the perpetrators entering the store and asking for Sawaid using a derogatory term. Sawaid, thinking it was a joke, responded with a smile. Then, the attacker to started swinging the metal rod at him. The assault resulted in a head wound that required eight staples, stitches, and left his face swollen and bloodied.
The NYPD released photographs of the four suspects fleeing the scene, but they remain at large. The Hate Crimes Task Force is currently investigating the incident.