A 65-year-old food vendor told the New York Post a woman took a U.S. flag from the cart he was helping operate Sunday night outside Washington Square Park in Manhattan and demanded that a Pride flag replace it.
But when Nader Hassaneen confronted the woman, he told the paper she got angry. And then she and others physically attacked him, he added to the Post.
"I have a broken nose. They say I might need surgery," Hassaneen told the Post. "When I saw the blood in my cap, and I was bleeding from my nose, I thought I was going to bleed to death."
Pride festivities had been going on all day in the park, the paper said.
Food vendor attacked Pride party in Washington Square Park reveals revelers broke his nose and left him fearing for… https://t.co/wN7L9lj4ef— Daily Mail US (@Daily Mail US)1625044451.0
What are the details?
Hassaneen — an Egyptian immigrant who retired from street vending because of a heart condition — told the paper he decided to help his son's friend with his food cart.
He told the Post in Arabic as his daughter translated that he was punched and that hot sauce was tossed in his eyes.
"My eyes were burning. A lot of people were hurting me and pushing me around. They punched in the back of the head. I didn't know I was bleeding," he said.
Here's the clip. Hassaneen is in the yellow shirt:
Rioters at a NYC Pride event assaulted a food cart operator. He (in the neon green shirt) was left bloodied on the… https://t.co/vrEm2Y5yaa— Andy Ngô (@Andy Ngô)1624853333.0
"I felt safe because the cops were around. There were about 30 or 40 cops near the arch," Hassaneen added to the paper, "but I was scared when they came at me. There were a lot of people coming at me at the same time."
Police said the brawl broke out over prices of items — but a videographer who captured the beatdown claimed it was sparked by one of the cart workers hurling an anti-gay slur, the Post reported.
"I would never do that. I don't have a problem with them," Hassaneen told the paper. "I know it was their parade. It was their day. They came out to have fun and enjoy themselves."
Hassaneen's 24-year-old daughter Soha Ahmed told the Post her father seemed OK at the hospital — and then her tune changed after she saw the video.
"That's when I realized how bad it was," she said. "It's just not right. They are out there for love, and then it gets chaotic and violent."
The paper said no arrests have been made in connection with the attack on Hassaneen.