NEW YORK – A father and his son are being called heroes after stopping a woman from being robbed outside of their pizzeria in Queens.
They were stabbed, and are now recovering at the hospital.
CBS2’s Kevin Rincon heard from Louie Suljovic, the owner of the pizza shop.
Suljovic told Rincon he was working inside on Saturday when he heard a woman crying out for help. That’s when he stepped in to help without hesitation, along with his father.
“I would still do it tomorrow, even in the state I am in now,” he said. “Enough is enough. People have to start taking the city back. We do. Because there’s too many people out there – there’s animals out there, and there’s a lot good people that supersede that. We can take this back. We can make this city great again,” he said.
Suljovic has been at Elmhurst Hospital since Saturday night. He suffered a collapsed lung after he and his father Cazim were stabbed trying to help 61-year-old Hee Chen. Cops say she was being robbed when the two men left the pizza shop and came to her aid.
“They stabbed us, like they stabbed the woman. Poor, defenseless Asian woman that was just going home. Because they’re cowards. Now, people like us who are not cowards, we fight back,” Suljovic said.
In surveillance video, you can see the two suspects walking by as they crept up behind the victim.
Tania Fernandez works next door and watched it all happen.
“They started stabbing her, and they wanted to rob her. That’s when Louie’s father told him about it, and they ran after them,” she said.
She says the father and son have been a staple in the community for more than a decade. For now, the shop is closed as they recover at the hospital.
“I just feels, like, very lonely. It feels like there’s something wrong because they’re always open. It’s just really sad,” Fernandez said.
Because of their help, cops arrested the suspects, who were accused of committing similar crimes in the area.
“The sad thing is I wish it never came to this. People have the right to walk around and be free,” Louie’s mother Aferdita Sujovic said.
For her, his heroics are part of who he is.
“I’m just proud of him and him being my son. And, being his mother, it’s just, you know…. he’s the type of person that he just went into action. That’s just the person he is,” she said.
For his part, he says he’d do the same, regardless of who it is.
“It doesn’t make a difference if it was my best friend or not, you know? It was a woman that was in need and that didn’t deserve to be stabbed and robbed from, because some perps thought she was a soft target because she was an older Asian woman,” he said.