Suspects Robert Whack and Supreme Gooding were hit with additional charges on Wednesday, after it was announced that the two men who attempted to stab and rob an elderly woman in Queens, NY, also carried out similarly brutal attacks in the neighborhood just a couple of days before.
According to criminal complaints, Robert Whack, 30, and his brother-in-law, Supreme Gooding, 18, bizarrely spent the last few days viciously stabbing and terrorizing Queens residents, culminating in the NYC Pizzeria scuffle on Saturday that ended their tirade.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) is currently searching for a motive to explain what happened to spur the violence by the two men, who both remain in custody.
Just before 9 p.m. on Saturday, a 61-year-old Korean woman was attacked by Robert Whack and Supreme Gooding as she was pushing a grocery cart outside Louie’s Pizza on Baxter Avenue in Elmhurst. She was stabbed, according to police reports, as the two men stole her bag.
38-year-old Louie Suljovic, a military veteran and owner of Louie’s Pizza, rushed outside after hearing the commotion and jumped it to help fight off her attackers. His 68-year-old father, Charlie Suljovic, joined in, and the two pizzeria owners were also hurt badly.
“My father noticed it first, that the woman was attacked and she was on the floor, and my understanding was he heard screaming,” Louie Suljovic told ABC News. “So he went after them and yelled my name. Once I heard my name, we both chased them down the block.”
They held down Robert Whack and Supreme Gooding until the authorities arrived and then they walked themselves over to the emergency room at Elmhurst Hospital across the street.
Louie was stabbed in the back during the assault, and his father was reportedly stabbed nine times. The 61-year-old woman had a large gash and was losing a lot of blood. All three victims have since healed, though the pizzeria owners both suffered from collapsed lungs.
“Trying to take a breath, but it’s hard to take a real breath, and you feel like a bubbling inside,” Louie told ABC News. “My dad’s a bull, like old school men. They don’t make them like they used to.”
The Korean woman who was attacked in the robbery declined to speak with the press but said that it was difficult to understand the incident due to a language barrier.
New York City has faced a rise in attacks on the Asian American community in the past few months, but it remains unclear if the two suspects targeted the woman as part of a hate crime.
Robert Whack was charged with robbery, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, after they found heroin on his person. Supreme Gooding was similarly charged with robbery, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.
According to the NYPD, the two assailants were connected to other crimes in the area, after they were caught on surveillance footage beating a man outside 89-39 Elmhurst Avenue.
The two men later admitted to the attack and claimed that the man threw gang signs in their face. “I always carry my knife with me. I stabbed him twice,” Whack allegedly stated.
Just a week earlier, they also attacked a 75-year-old woman outside of her apartment building and stole her purse containing roughly $2,500 in cash.
A fundraiser for the Pizzeria heroes raised roughly $115,000, according to the New York Post, to help pay for their hospital bills and recovery fees. Raising far beyond what they needed, the two plan to donate to help the elderly woman they saved.
“Louie and his father Charlie are absolutely stunned with gratitude at how many people chipped in,” the fundraiser organizers said. “We knew the owners were heroes, but the bravery and heroism they showed was truly off the charts.”