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Two arrested in alleged avocado assault on Bronx deli worker

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) -- Two suspects have been arrested for allegedly assaulting a 21-year-old Bronx deli worker with avocados, breaking his jaw.

Surveillance video from the Stadium Gourmet Deli on East 161st St. on May 29 appears to show the men picking up several avocados from a stand near the register before they lob them at the cashier.

The first avocado thrown at the victim hits him on the side of the face, and he appears to sink to the floor in pain. After throwing several more avocados at the man behind the register, the suspects then throw more avocados and bananas elsewhere in the store.

In addition to a broken jaw, the victim suffered a laceration and fractures to his face, according to the NYPD. He told ABC New York station WABC-TV that he couldn't see out of his left eye for a whole week after the attack and had to receive surgery to repair a fracture there.

"My eye was almost blind," said 21-year-old Amr Alzabibi.

Alzabibi said the weight of the avocados and the speed at which they hit him are the reasons why his face is fractured.

The assault began after a dispute over a food order, according to the NYPD. Alzabibi said six men, including the two suspects, were ordering food with another employee who does not speak English well and can't hear out of one ear. The suspects became angry when Alzabibi offered to translate the orders, he said.

"He was like, 'You're being sarcastic. Come outside and let me talk to you outside,' " Alzabibi said, referring to one of the men. "I'm like, 'For what? I'm trying to help you. I'm not trying to fight you.' "

Alzabibi threatened to call 911 when one of the men walked behind the counter. The group left, but then allegedly returned and began the assault.

In addition to the produce, the suspects were throwing "other hard objects" like glass jars of salsa, Alzabibi said.

"After I got hit, I kind of lost consciousness," he said.

Bronx resident Brad Gomez, 28, was arrested Thursday and charged with assault, police said. He was arraigned Friday and released on bond, according to the Bronx Criminal Court. It is unclear whether he entered a plea.

The second suspect, 25-year-old Jestyfer Henriquez of Bronx, was arrested on assault charges on Friday, police said. He has yet to be arraigned.

ABC News could not immediately reach Gomez or Henriquez for comment.

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