2015-12-09 / Front Page

Astoria Shop Owner Attacked In Anti-Muslim Hate Crime

An Astoria shop owner, Sarker Haque, was beaten up by a customer yelling that he wanted to "kill Muslims".

Haque ownes the Fatima Food Mart on 21st Avenue and 23rd Street. It was here that the suspect — whom police identified as 55-year-old Piro Kolvani — walked into the store at roughly 1 p.m.

The suspect then either proclaimed, "I want to kill Muslims," or "I kill Muslims," before continuing the assault, according to Haque, who is Muslim. Kolvani reportedly punched him many times.

Kolvani then tried to flee the store, but Haque grabbed ahold of his jacket, he said. One of his regular customers then came into the store and was able to keep the suspect from leaving until the police arrived.

Haque, suffered a black eye and was bleeding and bruised. He was taken to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital where he was examined and released a few hours later.

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