Brooklyn father allegedly stabbed for speaking Arabic, two teen brothers arrested

Saturday, October 24, 2015
Brooklyn father stabbed in alleged hate crime for speaking Arabic
AJ Ross has the story from Sunset Park.

SUNSET PARK (WABC) -- A family's stroll in their neighborhood turned violent and now police in Brooklyn are investigating the stabbing of a father as a hate crime.

Two teenage brothers are accused of attacking the man because he spoke Arabic.

"I was coming back from the school to pick up my son and my wife," said Said Othman, the victim. "We were walking and I was talking to my wife in Arabic."

It's a daily routine Said Othman and his wife have followed for years in this Sunset Park community, until they were recently ambushed by two brothers looking for trouble.

The couple says they had just picked up their 8-year-old son and were walking home when two teens confronted them.

"The guy, he came in front of us and he was telling us, 'What are you looking at?'" said Samera Mahmud, the victim's wife.

"I told him, 'Why you talking to me like that, I don't want any trouble,'" Othman said.

Othman says the first teen started cursing at his family, and when he approached and asked him to stop, the teen pulled out a knife.

"My son and my wife were with me, I told him, 'We don't want a fight,'" Othman said.

The teen then took off, but his brother remained and stabbed Othman again in the arm.

"He picked up the knife, also 'Oh you're Arabic, you receive that hit me in my shoulder," Othman said.

"He said, 'Oh you're Arabic, you deserve it I'm going to hit you, I'm going to stab you, you deserve it,'" Mahmud said.

Police arrived quickly on scene and were eventually able to arrest both brothers, later identified as 18-year-old Erick Pastuizaca and 19-year-old Manuel Pastuizaca.

Meanwhile, Othman was rushed to a nearby hospital where he underwent surgery and now cannot work as his body heals.

Now fearful in a neighborhood they once believed to be a safe haven, the Othman's now walk to school in groups, while their son who witnessed the horrific attack is haunted by questions.

"The only thing he was telling me, 'Why only us because we're Arabic?'" Mahmud said.

The Pastuizaca brothers are now facing several charges including assault as a hate crime.