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The owner of Louie’s Pizza & Restaurant in Queens, New York, and his father made headlines in March when they were hailed as heroes after being stabbed while attempting to stop a robbery outside their establishment.
On Tuesday, owner Louie Suljovic, 38, and his 68-year-old father, Cazim Suljovic, got one step closer to justice when a Queens County grand jury indicted and arraigned two men in connection with the stabbing.
Supreme Gooding, 18, and Robert Whack, 30, now face charges of attempted murder, assault and robbery, among other charges, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
“As alleged, the defendants targeted two women to steal their handbags and stabbed two good Samaritans who selflessly intervened during one of the incidents,” Katz said in a Tuesday statement. “Thankfully, no lives were lost but we will not allow senseless violence to become the norm in our communities. Both defendants now face serious charges for their alleged actions.”
On March 26, Louie and his father were inside the pizzeria when they saw two men push a 61-year-old woman from behind and take her bag, according to a criminal complaint.
The Suljovics ran outside to intervene, at which point Gooding and Whack allegedly brandished knives and stabbed both father and son.
Louie previously told Fox News host Ashley Strohmier that the decision to run to the woman’s aid was “just part of our character.”
“My father’s character – he taught us to do the best thing for everybody and always try to protect people,” he said. “We have to do something for other people who are weaker, who can’t do for themselves.”
He added that “the change of the bail reform” in New York City “has now created a new breed of criminals that know they can do whatever they want and get away with it.”
Suljovic kept his restaurant open throughout the coronavirus pandemic and donated food to his community when it was needed, but he now believes actions from his city leaders are harming his neighborhood.
“During the pandemic, Louie remained open and donated meals to Elmhurst Hospital staff and first responders,” the New York Police Department’s 110th Precinct tweeted after the attack. “He and his father are among the very best New York has to offer. We thank them for their bravery and wish them a speedy recovery.”
Police found 39 packets containing heroin and a bloody knife on Whack.
Whack and Gooding are also accused of robbing a 75-year-old woman 10 days earlier.
Whack was arraigned Monday in the Queens Supreme Court on a 17-count indictment, including charges of second-degree attempted murder; first-degree and second-degree assault; first-degree and second-degree robbery; criminal possession of a weapon; grand larceny; and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, according to Katz’s office. Gooding was charged with the same 17-count indictment.
Both men face up to 25 years in prison.