An off duty police of Guyanese descent employed as a Sergeant with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) was savagely beaten near death in Richmond Hill last week by another man who was later arrested by officers NYPD.
New York media say that the attack took place in front of the St. John Express restaurant at 118 Street and Liberty Avenue near the busy intersection of Lefferts and Liberty. It is the centre of the Guyanese community. The attack was filmed by eyewitnesses on their phones and posted on YouTube and has been commented on by the Guyanese community. It also made the news on several TV networks and community media.
According to the police, Sgt. Mohammed Deen, aged 40, who works at the 32nd Police Precinct (Station) in Harlem, parked his vehicle on Liberty Avenue around 4:40 A.M on Sunday and got into an altercation with Hayden Holder, aged 29. The reports said it t is believed he went to buy food at the restaurant and it is not clear what led to the altercation. But the YouTube video clearly showed that the two men had a verbal dispute. The argument led to a physical fight in which Deen was beaten unconscious with severe blows to his head. It is not known whether Holder knew Deen is a police officer. Police say they feel Holder was unaware that Deen is a police officer. The attack occurred right in front of Deen’s car. The YouTube video showed a female in Deen’s car apparently summoning help. It is not clear whether Deen was armed; NYPD regulations require police to always travel with their city issued gun even when off duty.
Holder lives in Jamaica, Queens, a few miles from Richmond Hill. He was arrested a few blocks from the incident.
Police say the quarrel began a mile away at the popular Maracas Bar, owned by Trinis, on 121 Street and Jamaica Avenue. The reports say that Holder followed Deen to Liberty Avenue with the apparently with intention of continuing the confrontation with Deen after the argument at Maracas. The physical attack in front of the restaurant lasted for several minutes. Several people can be heard on the video screaming and shouting for help. The video showed the two men arguing before Holder started pummeling Deen who fell to the ground and lay motionless. Holder is much bigger and heavier built than Deen.
Police say that at one point, after Deen lay unconscious on the ground, Holder turned to Deen’s BMW and started banging at the window with Deen’s wife inside apparently to intimidate her. The couple had recently been married.
Police say Deen was taken to the Jamaica Hospital and placed in a medically induced coma. He suffered fractures to the skull and brain haemorrhaging. He has since been released from the hospital.
Holder was charged with attempted murder and second degree assault and was arraigned on Monday at Queens Criminal Court. Reports say he is being held without bail and will see the judge again on December 2.