Harlem Deli Worker Charged With Murder After Stabbing Man Who Attacked Him Behind Counter

Harlem Deli Worker Charged With Murder After Stabbing Man Who Attacked Him Behind Counter

A twenty-two year-old store clerk has been charged with murder. He was working at the A & S Candy Grocery in Harlem, New York when a serial shoplifter, well known to the young clerk, came into the store with another man, at about 7:00 AM, and attempted to engage in his usual shoplifting. The young clerk, Ahmad Hafeed, would not allow him to steal from the store. An argument ensued, in which the two men threatened Mr. Hafeed. The man and his companion left the store, but came back two hours later with a knife.

The 46 year-old man slashed at Hafeed as he stood behind the counter. Hafeed grabbed a knife of his own and came out from behind the deli counter, and stabbed his assailant several times in the abdomen. Surveillance video caught the entire bloody exchange. The man who was stabbed bolted out of the store and ran down the street with the knife still in his midsection.

A witness, Lavern Allen, said, “He came up to the Dunkin’ Donuts, pulled out the knife from his stomach and threw it in the garbage can. There was blood coming out of his stomach.”

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Ms. Allen, a friend of the young clerk, had been asked to leave the store when she arrived during the melee. She was grateful as she commented, “Thank God my friend told me to get out of there.”

The manager of the Dunkin’ Donuts, Towhidul Pinto, said, “There was a little blood on the knife. His whole stomach was wet with blood. It was a big knife. It had a black handle.”

It was Pinto who called 911 and attempted to put the bleeding man on the phone with them. He described the scene, saying, “He just said, ‘Hello’ then he stopped talking. He was just getting weaker and weaker. He was just sitting down in the chair, taking deep breaths. He was struggling to keep his head up.”

The man was taken to Harlem Hospital by ambulance but was unable to be saved. The name of the man has not been released.

Young Ahmad Hafeed has been arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter. A cousin of the clerk, Hafid Hafeed, has described the stabbing victim as a serial shoplifter. He said, “The dead man and his accomplice always bother him, they always want to take free stuff and walk out. Today they show up here, he refused to give them free stuff, then they had an argument. He’s about my size, skinny. They thought they could get him.”

Of his cousin, Ahmad, Hafid said, “He’s feeling not good. He was trying to defend himself and defend the store.”

In August of 2016, Ahmad’s uncle, Habeeb Hafeed was shot and killed outside of his Richmond, VA store. No doubt this was uppermost in Ahmad’s mind as he was confronted by the knife wielding attacker.

This situation is tragic. A thug attacked a store clerk because he tried to stop him from stealing. And the clerk ends up stabbing him. Was it justified? Was it excessive force? Was it murder? What’s your take?

Sonja Bochow

I live in Newark, DE, am married, and the mother of four children; Liam, Brenna, Keira and Erin. I am also a full time Bible teacher and have a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from West Chester University.

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