Queens attack leaves NYPD sergeant critically injured

Josh Einiger reports from Jamaica.
November 19, 2013 7:29:25 PM PST
An NYPD officer was attacked outside a bar in Queens.

Sergeant Mohammed Deen was rushed to Jamaica Hospital, but was transfered Tuesday to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical but stable condition.

The incident happened outside St. John's Express restaurant on Liberty Avenue near Lefferts Boulevard in South Richmond Hill, and it was caught on cell phone video.

"I'm in shock," said Yesenia Flores, a Pelham Gardens resident.

In Mohamed Deen's Pelham Gardens neighborhood Monday night, longtime neighbors like Yesenia Flores were outraged.

"This is someone that, he put his life at risk every day because he's a cop," Flores said.

The video is so appallingly violent, all Eyewitness News can show is a single frame depicting 29-year-old Hayden Holder standing over the off-duty NYPD sergeant, after nearly killing him, police say, with his bare hands.

"He takes the sergeants head and pounds it into the pavement. It was really a vicious beating," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

"The assault, the savage beating taking place was so unexplainable, I'm still curious what this guy was thinking at the time," said Ed Mullins, SBA President.

Holder said nothing as police booked him. Investigators believe he and Sergeant Deen had argued at a Queens nightclub late Saturday night and later saw each other while getting food at the St. John's Express restaurant in Ozone Park.

That's where police say Holder went on the attack.

Cell phone video uploaded to YouTube shows him turning his attention on the sergeant's car where his new wife was locked inside.

After his arraignment, Holder's family refused to discuss the vicious attack.

His lawyer said both the suspect and the sergeant were drunk.

Deen's neighbors say that's no excuse for the attack.

"If he will see you bringing heavy stuff into your house he will help you, if there's a snowstorm he will be out here cleaning, helping out," a neighbor said, "It's very sad."

The 29-year-old Holder, of Queens, was arrested and charged with attempted murder and felony assault.

Deen is an 18-year veteran of the NYPD and is currently assigned to the 32nd Precinct in Harlem.