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Smoke shop owner beaten on the job vows to reopen his store on Monday

By Naveen Dhaliwal

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    NEW YORK (WCBS) — A Brooklyn store owner was attacked on the job on Saturday.

He has been part of the community for decades. Even though he was badly hurt, he said he’s determined to reopen his Coney Island shop on Monday. This as police search for his attackers.

With eight staples in his head and his face still swollen, Jamal Sawaid found the strength to talk on Sunday.

“You see my lips and my nose and my forehead … I cannot even eat,” Sawaid said.

He was behind the counter of his smoke shop on Mermaid Avenue when, as seen on surveillance video, he was attacked on Saturday afternoon.

“I smile like in his face and I think he was joking … and he hit me right way. The blood is going in the floor and I keep on going down and he keep on hitting me, all of them hitting me, over here over there over here,” Sawaid said.

He said three men who he had never seen before assaulted him for no reason while a fourth stood outside as a guard. He was repeatedly hit and left with deep injuries.

“I’m still in shock. I can’t believe that would happen. The whole family is grateful he’s alive,” said Marie Shahzada, the victim’s wife.

Sawaid, an immigrant from Yemen, has owned the shop for more than 20 years. It’s his lifeline.

“It’s not only feeding our family, it’s feeding our families in Yemen,” Shahzada said.

In his two decades at the shop’s location, he hasn’t had an problems, but now his family is concerned.

“A lot of family wants him to close shop and that would affect this community,” Shahzada said.

Despite all he’s been through, Sawaid still plans to open his shop Monday morning at 10 a.m. as planned. As far as the investigation goes, police say there have been no arrests.

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