CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn (PIX11) – Police launched a manhunt for a group of men who beat a Brooklyn smoke shop owner within an inch of his life.
Jamal Sawaid described the brutal attack he endured to PIX11 News on Tuesday.
“I stood up like this, he hit me back to back,” he said.
Surveillance video also captured the horrific moment when the attackers stormed into the Mermaid Avenue Deli and Grill at 1716 Mermaid Ave. around 2:20 p.m. on Saturday.
At one point, the attackers jumped over the counter and beat Sawaid with a metal pipe, according to police and surveillance video. Another suspect jumped in and threw items.
“I was yelling like crazy. There was blood all over the floor, all over my shirt,” Sawaid said.
Throughout the attack, Sawaid said the suspects called him a racial slur based on his ethnicity. Police said a fourth man waited outside of the smoke shop and acted as a lookout.
Sawaid was left bruised and bleeding. The attackers fled the shop and into a white pick-up truck, police said.
“I have never seen them in my life and I’ve been here 23 years. I’ve never seen them in my life,” Sawaid said.
While police search for the suspects, Sawaid – a father and husband – said he can’t focus on his feelings or his injuries; he has to keep pushing. He returned to work the day after the attack.
“I am scared for my life. I have to face it because I have to feed my family,” he said.