You are reading

Pair of deli workers indicted for alleged customer assault in Rockaway Park: DA

Jul. 7, 2023 By John Schilling

Two workers accused of an alleged assault on a customer in a Rockaway Park deli last month were indicted and arraigned in court on July 7 on first degree strangulation charges and other crimes, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Saber Abuhamra, 34, and Jorge Hernandez, 23, are accused of allegedly “coming out from behind the counter” at Pickles & Pies, a 24-hour deli located at 202 Beach 116th St., and attacking James Keena, 31, over a verbal dispute about his food order.

The four-count indictment charges Abuhamra and Hernandez with strangulation in the first degree, strangulation in the second degree, assault in the second degree and assault in the third degree. If convicted of the first degree strangulation charge, the two face up to 15 years in prison.

“A grand jury has weighed in and these defendants stand accused of a brutal attack and will be held to account,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement.

According to the charges, the alleged assault took place on Saturday, June 11, at dawn between 4:50 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. Hernandez is accused of punching and pushing Keena, “causing him to hit his head on a counter” in the store.

The charges state that Hernandez then allegedly put his arm around Keena’s neck and held him on the floor while Abuhamra allegedly punched and kicked him in the head and stomach for several minutes after he “lost consciousness” and “began seizing and shaking.”

Once police arrived, Keena was transported to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in “critical condition” before being placed on life support after not being able “to breathe on his own.” Abuhamra and Hernandez were both taken into custody at the scene.

As a result, Pickles & Pies closed for further police investigation before reopening later in the day. The deli has remained open since.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino ordered both Abuhamra and Hernandez to return to court on Aug. 3.

Recent News

Brooklyn man charged with manslaughter, DWI, for Astoria collision that killed his wife: DA

New details have emerged in the case against a Brooklyn man who allegedly crashed into several cars in Astoria last week while driving drunk, and then drove off in the wrecked vehicle to a residential block in Maspeth four miles away with a gravely injured passenger. The passenger turned out to be his wife, who later died, and the boozed driver told investigators that the couple was being followed when the collision occurred, according to the criminal complaint.

Rey Perez, 27, of Caton Avenue in Flatbush, was arraigned on Friday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and other crimes for speeding through stop signs last Thursday morning, crashing into another vehicle and two parked cars, before speeding from the scene to Maspeth where he sought help for his wife, 29-year-old Bridget Enriquez, who later succumbed to her injuries.

Woman sought for slashing cabbie during a robbery near LaGuardia Airport: NYPD

Police are searching for a woman who attacked a cab driver in East Elmhurst during a robbery more than two weeks ago.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 11 after the cabbie picked up the suspect in Manhattan. The driver told investigators that the woman initially wanted to be taken to LaGuardia Airport but instead decided to be dropped off  nearby in front of 89-00 23rd Ave. at around 2 a.m.