A 66-year-old Korean Deli owner from Flatbush, Brooklyn, was beaten inside his store by a customer who refused to pay on Saturday morning.
The attack on the owner, Ki Tae Lee, was caught on surveillance camera and is currently being investigated as a possible anti-Asian hate crime.
“I was cleaning the deli section when this person just threw everything off my counter,” Lee told ABC7 New York. “I went to tell him to stop. He said something, then he punched me. He was saying as he was punching me also.”
“He was saying some sort of curse words and derogatory things, but I can’t say exactly what they were,” Lee reportedly said.
Lee was brought to the hospital after the incident left him with injuries on his head above his left ear. He is now seeking justice, according to ABC7.
“I think we have to all stand together now and make sure they are OK and that our community is OK,” Lee’s neighbor Michael Meade told CBS New York. “It’s tragic. I mean, this is a great family, hard working, here every single day, working 365 days a year. It’s heartbreaking to see it. I just wanted to come out and support them.”
Over a month ago, two men had reportedly broken the front door of Lee’s deli while screaming, “Go back to your country!”
While no arrests have been made and despite the fear of a recurrence, Lee and his family plan to keep the doors of their 15-year-old business in Midwood open.