Just a few days ago, videos of a New York City food vendor being viciously attacked by Pride revelers went viral. For the entire month of June, cities around America have celebrated the strides gay people have made over the past few decades. While most gatherings have been peaceful, the food vendor was shocked when he found himself being attacked by the community. And although some witnesses claim the vendor said homophobic slurs, the vendor claims the incident started when he wouldn’t replace an American flag on his cart with a gay pride one.
For Nader Hassaneen, 65, the days of being a street vendor were far behind him. Due to a health condition, Hassaneen was forced to retire and focus on himself. But on Sunday, due to the festivities, Hassaneen decided to help a friend feed hungry partygoers. And instead of a thank you or a warm hug, Hassaneen was not only beaten by the unruly mob but they actually poured hot sauce in his eyes.
According to both Hassaneen and a second food vendor, an unidentified woman approached the cart and demanded the American flag be replaced. When Hassaneen refused, the woman snatched the flag off the cart and he was punched in the back of the head. Soon after, chaos erupted as the mob assaulted Hassaneen.
Speaking to reporters, Hassaneen said, “I have a broken nose. They say I might need surgery. When I saw the blood in my cap and I was bleeding from my nose, I thought I was going to bleed to death. I’m never going back there.”
As for the claims that Hassaneen used an anti-gay slur, he said, “I would never do that. I don’t have a problem with them. I know it was their parade. It was their day. They came out to have fun and enjoy themselves.”
On Monday, the New York Police Department said they had arrested eight people in connection with the assault. That includes one woman who not only fought against the police but even bit an officer. The woman that started the fight with Hassaneen has yet to be apprehended.