'I want justice': Bodega owner joined by community following attack; new images of suspects released
A bodega owner was joined by his community on Monday as they stood in solidarity following an attack on the owner this past weekend.
Dozens of Coney Island residents came together outside of the bodega at 1716 Mermaid Ave., calling for justice after bodega owner Jamal Sawaid was the victim of a violent assault, being beaten with a metal rod on Saturday.
The assault landed Sawaid in the hospital, leaving him with cuts and bruises. He says he was behind the counter of the bodega when four people came inside, shouted an ethnic slur at him and started attacking him.
Elected officials and local organizations stood alongside Sawaid’s family on Monday night to denounce what they are calling a hate crime. Those who spoke say Sawaid is a loved community member who is known for always giving back.
"I want justice," Sawaid says. "I want those guys locked up and I want to know what was the reason they did this."
A representative from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office was here, telling the family of Sawaid that justice will be served.
The Yemeni American Merchants' Association provided the following statement in response to this attack:
“We were outraged and saddened to learn of this horrific attack on Jamal Sawaid, a New York City bodega owner and valued member of his community. We have extended our support to Mr. Sawaid’s family and are praying for a full recovery from this unconscionable attack. This terrible incident is further proof of how urgently we need our elected officials to take action, and pass laws that will deliver real protection for bodega owners and other small businesses who are continuously subjected to threats and violence every single day. We call on local and state elected officials to pass legislation to protect our merchants and help put an end to these horrible attacks that continue to plague our community.”