22 The QUEE NS Courier • DECEMBER 10, 2015 for breaking news visit www.qns.com ASTORIA GROUP RALLIES AROUND STORE OWNER FOLLOWING ASAULT By Angela Matua firstname.lastname@example.org/@AngelaMatua After an Astoria grocery store owner was attacked in the neighborhood on Dec. 5, members of the community are rallying together to shower him with love and support. Saker Haque, owner of Fatima Food Market in Astoria, was assaulted by Piro Kolvani, 55, of Jacksonville, Fla., police said. Kolvani allegedly hit Haque repeatedly in the face and neck and the store owner suffered a black eye, laceration to his lips and bruising. When Haque asked his attacker why he was hitting him, according to published reports, Kolvani allegedly said, “I kill Muslims.” Larry Mayberry, an Astoria resident and pastor at Connection Church, started the “Love Fatima Food Mart” Facebook group that has so far garnered 315 members who will participate in a number of activities to show the store owner that “the vast majority of Astorians not only disagree with what happened but are also ready to show it.” Mayberry said he was surprised by news of the attack. A native of the South, he noted that he has found “sanctuary” in Astoria, a neighborhood where people from different religions and ethnic backgrounds have formed a community. “Today, I was reminded that racism and fear are everywhere, even here in Astoria,” Mayberry said. “I also know, though, that perfect love casts out all fear and my response as a Christian in this time is particularly important.” This weekend, Astoria residents will gather to create posters and cards to hang on Fatima Food Market’s storefront to show Haque that his presence SHERIFF’S SALE BY VIRTUE OF AN EXECUTION ISSUED OUT OF THE SUPREME COURT, QUEENS, in favor of EASTSIDE HOLDINGS II, INC, judgment creditors, and against VANESSA ANDRADE, judgment debtor, to me directed and delivered, I WILL SELL AT PUBLIC AUCTION, by DENNIS ALESTRA DCA# 0840217, auctioneer, as the law directs, FOR CASH ONLY, on the 10th day of February, 2016, at 1:00, in the afternoon, at 30-10 Starr Avenue, Queens County Sheriff’s Office, in the county of QUEENS all the right, title and interest which VANESSA ANDRADE the judgment debtor, had on the 15th day of July, 2010, or at anytime thereafter, of, in and to the following: 33-29 156TH STREET QUEENS NEW YORK BLOCK: 5241 LOT: 0028 SCHEDULE “A” BEGINNING at a point on the easterly side of 156th Street (Formerly 16th Street) distant 278.18 feet southerly from the corner formed by the intersection of the easterly side of 156th Street with the southerly side of 33rd Avenue (formerly Mitchell Avenue), RUNNING THENCE easterly parallel with 33rd Avenue, 138.64 feet; THENCE southerly parallel with 156th Street, 50 feet; THENCE westerly again parallel with 33rd Ave., 138.64 feet to the easterly of 156th Street; RUNNING THENCE northerly along the easterly side of 156th Street, 50 feet to the point or place of BEGINNING. 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Residents will also “put our money where our social media activism is” by shopping at the market to help Haque recover any losses. “I’m so upset by this,” Astoria resident Paul Betz said in the group. “I live on that block and see Saker Haque frequently. He’s always been the kindest person and it is absolutely disgusting that this happened.” Another member of the group, Ben Coleman, offered his condolences. “My heart goes out to Saker Haque,” Coleman said. “Thank you for being a fantastic presence in our neighborhood, for always being friendly to your patrons, and for many late night laughs. Wishing you well on your recovery and infinite condolences for the injuries you suffered at the hands of ignorance and hate.” In an interview with The Courier on Wednesday, Haque said he is feeling better and that he is thankful to the community for showing support. “This is the best neighborhood that I know. I’m here a long time,” Haque said. My shop has been here for 16 years and this is a very nice, very kind, good neighborhood.” Kolvani, who has six prior arrests between 2006 and 2010, was issued a desk appearance ticket by the NYPD and is expected to appear in court on Jan. 12. The incident is still under investigation and police said that Kolvani was charged with a misdemeanor assault. Several people in the Facebook group “Love Fatima Food Mart” are shocked that the attack is not being investigated as a hate crime and are planning to create a petition to ask that his charges be changed to reflect the attacker’s comments. Photo courtesy of Facebook/Love Fatima Food Mart Astoria residents are rallying behind a Muslim store owner who was attacked in his Astoria food mart.
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