BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) – A Brooklyn businessman is facing an attempted murder charge, among others, after police say he intentionally ran down migrants with his SUV.
Video obtained by PIX11 shows the driver tearing through Clinton Hill in his Lexus Sunday morning.
Police say behind the wheel was Hamzeh Alwawi, 42, who mowed down two migrants along Park Avenue.
Both of the men have been living at a nearby city shelter on Hall Street.
Yoandry Lozano Bracho, 28, is one of them. The Venezuelan is seeking asylum in the United States after arriving in New York City in July. He hasn’t been able to find work.
He tells PIX11 News, “my arms hurt, they’re full of bruises, my legs, my knees.” Bracho recalled “i ran… I tried to jump over the fence, and he kept going with the car.”
Both he and Alwawi agreed they’ve never encountered one another before this.
The Brooklyn father and business owner says he was chasing down someone else. Fed up with repeated food theft from his burger joint, BurgerIM a few blocks away.
When pressed by PIX11’s Anthony DiLorenzo to why he didn’t call the police instead of taking matters into his own hands, Alwawi said, “I feel sad. I’m trying to make a living.”
Instead, he admits pursuing the suspected thief a few blocks away but denies trying to hit anyone with his vehicle.
“Of course not. When 30 people surround and beat your car what do you do?” he asked.
Alwawi alleges the men began chasing his car on scooters and was trying to flee and said “I regret going out of the store.”
The suspect, who immigrated from Jordan 20 years ago was released from jail after posting $30,000 bond.
The other victim, who is 21 years old, suffered injuries to his back and arm.