Bodega owner charged with beating teen

April 14, 2008 5:07:20 PM PDT
A bodega owner in Brooklyn is under arrest for allegedly attacking a teen with a hammer. The owner claims the teen was shoplifting. The boy is now hospitalized in critical condition, and his family says the bodega owner is the criminal.Eyewitness News reporter Emily Smith has more on the story from Brownsville.

Bunkless Bovian is in critical condition. His brother and sister were asked by police to come to the 73rd Precinct Monday morning. They say Bunkless can't speak, can't open his eyes and is not doing well.

"They were saying he was trying to take something," basketball coach Anthony Williams said. "That couldn't be."

Police say the 15-year-old apparently walked into the bodega, and the store owner thought he was trying to steal something. Police say it turned into a confrontation rather quickly, then escalated into a fight.

Police say the store owner grabbed a hammer and hit Bunkless in the head. That hammer was recovered on the scene.

"I have no words to say to that man right now," brother William Bovian said.

Bovian saw his brother bleeding on the sidewalk Sunday night. Then, the teen was rushed to Brookdale Hospital.

Bunkless' brother and sister say they do not believe he was trying to steal.

"He gets anything he wants, my grandmother takes care of us really well," sister Shaquana Bovian said.

The store's owner has been arrested. Police say he is 36-year-old Ahmed Salaf, and he has been charged with felony assault.