Deli worker threatened with knife over a cigar

Brothers deli on East 14th Street and Avenue B (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Brothers deli on East 14th Street and Avenue B (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
Police are on the lookout for a man who, on Christmas Eve, threatened a deli employee at knifepoint for refusing to sell him a loose cigar.

According to an employee who asked to remain anonymous, the man walked into Brothers, a deli/convenience store on East 14th Street and Avenue B, and asked for the cigar. But after the employee refused, explaining it’s against the law to sell it loose, the customer got angry and started knocking over straws and merchandise on racks. At this point the worker told him to get out and that’s when the man pulled a knife.

“He tried to cut one of my co-workers,” the employee said.

The two men struggled, and the fight spilled outside of the store where the customer also tried to get in a kick. At one point, the employee hit the ground and cut his hand. Though the customer didn’t succeed in cutting him, the employee who spoke with T&V (who wasn’t involved in the incident) said the customer may have thought he did succeed because that’s when he ran off.

The suspect is described as being Hispanic, 22 or 23 years old, about 5 ft. 9 inches tall and thin. He also has black hair and a light beard, and at the time he was at the store, was wearing a black, puffy jacket with a hood.

The employee who was interviewed also said that his co-worker is doing fine and that he wasn’t sure if police, who responded to the scene, ended up finding the suspect. However, he added that the customer is known at another store on Avenue B for making trouble.

“That’s just the way the kid is,” the employee said.

A spokesperson for the NYPD’s DCPI (office of the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information) said she didn’t have any information about an incident at that address on Christmas Eve.