QUEENS, N.Y. – Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) held a special ceremony April 1 to honor the bravery and heroism of the Queens pizzeria owner and his dad who were stabbed while stopping a robbery in front of their establishment.
On March 26, 38-year-old Louie Suljovic and his 68-year-old father Cazim were working inside their restaurant, Louie’s Pizzeria in Elmhurst, and intervened when they saw a 61-year-old Asian women being attacked and robbed outside. Cazim continues to recover from his injuries at Elmhurst Hospital and Louie was discharged on March 30.
Two suspects were arrested in the case. They were identified as Robert Whack, 30, of Brooklyn and Supreme Gooding, 18. Both were charged with robbery, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Gooding was also arraigned on an attempted murder charge.
Meng presented Louie with an official congressional proclamation that declared “Louie Suljovic and Cazim Suljovic Day” throughout her congressional district. She also awarded them with a special certificate of congressional recognition.
“Last Saturday was just an average weekend night. Louie Suljovic and his father Cazim were working hard at their pizzeria as they always do; running their business and serving customers,” said Meng. “But things changed when they saw a woman being violently attacked and robbed outside their establishment. Without hesitation and without thinking twice, they sprang into action; putting themselves in harm’s way to save her.
“They are true heroes and I and so many throughout Queens and the rest of New York City just want to say thank you, and salute their selflessness and bravery. We are tremendously proud of them, and will never forget the sacrifices they made to their own safety in order to help a fellow New Yorker.”
The woman, identified as Eun Hee Chang, a home health aide, was stabbed once in the back through her jacket. According to ABC New York, she went back to work the next day out of necessity.
Louie Suljovic told “Today” that he had a message for Chang: “We love you, and we’re here for you, and we will always be here for you.”
Chang is one of several Asian Americans in New York who have been attacked and in some cases killed in recent months. The victims are often women or elderly, or both.