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Father caught on camera pummeling man in Williamsburg market says it was defense

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WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn — A man who pummeled another man inside Williamsburg's Central Market said he is being painted as the villain in the situation.

Mark Soto doesn't deny hitting the person, but does say there is more to the story and it's what happened before the violent encounter being circulated on social media.

Soto said his daughter and nephew were at the grocery store when a store manager pushed his nephew off of the hoverboard he was riding. A verbal altercation ensued and then Soto's daughter was suddenly hit with a soda can in the face. Photos show her bloodied, bruised and banged up at the hands of Mattis Edelstein, one of the grocery store managers. Soto said he went to the store looking for answers.

"I'm trying to figure out what's going on and who did what. They're attacking me, like three or four of them. They don't' show that on the video. They were recording when they were attacking me, so what am I supposed to do," Soto said.

Soto claims he did what any parent would do for their child. He, along with Edelstein and Abraham Spielman, another grocery store manager, were all arrested. Soto and Spielman were charged with misdemeanor assault. Spielman was charged because police said he pushed Soto's nephew off of the hoverboard.

Edelstein was charged with felony assault for allegedly attacking Soto's daughter.

Members of the Hasidic community in Williamsburg, however, are claiming foul on this one and said the punishment was not fair and equal.

"It's shocking how violent somebody can become to innocent people when they're not involved in any altercation that went on in the store," Isaac Abraham, a friend of Edelstein's, said.