Two stabbed at Queens deli

July 31, 2008 2:36:14 PM PDT
Police say a Queens deli customer went on a rampage Thursday morning, ransacking the store and stabbing two employees. Authorities say the suspect, a regular customer, stabbed the employees inside the Rockaway Deli & Grocery at 112-32 Rockaway Beach Boulevard just before 10:30 a.m.

The employees reportedly tried to fight off 29-year-old Ortho Arnold with broomsticks after he pulled out a knife and began lunging at employees for seemingly no reason. The whole incident was caught on surveillance video.

Arnold can be seen getting change from the cashier and then suddenly spitting in his face. He backs up and then begins arguing with the employee. As other nervous customers start leaving the store, Arnold pulls the knife.

One worker, the 39-year-old cousin of the owner, was slashed to the face. The other, the owner's 18-year-old son, was stabbed in the arm.

Both men were transported to Jamaica Hospital, where they were treated. The son was released, while the cousin has more serious injuries.

Authorities say Arnold slipped his knife in his right pants pocket and his ran out of the deli. He was later caught and arrested. He is now facing assault charges.

"I have nothing to say, but all I know is that my wounds is deep, or whatever," Arnold said in a non-sensical statement as he was led into the police precinct. "It was only self-defense, with all of that blood that came, that leaked from me."

The owner, Alli Allahivi, said Arnold visits the store daily and apparently snapped for no reason. He said robbery was not the motive for the attack.

"He's a little crazy," Allahivi said. "I mean, he does sometimes some things that are not normal."

Allahivi said he was thankful his family members were OK, as he cleaned up the blood off the deli floor.



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