Amr Alzabibi was working behind the counter at Stadium Gourmet Deli on East 161st Street in the Concourse section on May 29 when two customers became enraged in a dispute over a food order around 5 a.m.
"His friend came behind the counter again, started taking off his belt," he said. "And I'm shocked, looking at him. He's taking off his belt, as if he's going to hit me with the belt."
But that move may have been a ruse.
"I'm looking at him," Alzabibi said. "While I was looking at him, you can see in the video that I'm not looking at the person that threw the avocado at me. I'm looking at his friend, which I think they planned to do this, one of them distract me, make me look at a different direction, while the other guy getting ready the avocado to hit me in the face."
Video released by the NYPD shows two men attacking Alzabibi by throwing the fruit at him.
Alzabibi suffered a broken jaw, along with fractures and a cut to his face. The suspects fled the scene.
"I know it sounds funny, an avocado," he said. "But the avocado, the weight and the speed, fractured my face and caused me double vision, blurry vision, and I'm not sure if I'm going to have to deal with this for the rest of my life."
Brad Gomez, 28, of the Bronx, was arrested Thursday and charged with assault. Detectives identified him after the video was released earlier in the week, but they are still working to arrest the second person involved in the attack.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477, submit tips online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com, or text any tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and then enter TIP577.