Dad arrested after reportedly protecting son, 13, from adult thug who showed up at their home with weapon after beating kid days before; crowd protests dad’s arrest

News & Politics

A Brooklyn father was arrested after reportedly protecting his 13-year-old son from a 24-year-old man who showed up at their home with a weapon after beating up the kid just two days before.

In response, a huge crowd of people came together to protest the dad’s arrest.

What are the details?

The 13-year-old boy — whose name is Brian and whose full identity the New York Post withheld — was on a basketball court in Dyker Heights Sept. 28 when he and his friends got into it with two brothers who are classmates of theirs who were trying to force their way into the game.

The paper, citing Brian’s family, said the brothers called family members, and one of their relatives showed up.

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Two cellphone videos allegedly show what happened next. One shows a larger, bearded male knocking a smaller male dressed in a red jacket to the street before kicking him, after which, another attacker kicks the victim while the bearded male punches a smaller male holding a basketball. The second video shows a bystander trying to break up the attack, after which the larger, bearded male slams the victim into a fence on a sidewalk.

The Post, citing police, said the attacker fled the scene — the but the paper, citing Brian’s family, said the attacker showed up two days later at the boy’s home along with a group armed with baseball bats and yelling anti-Asian slurs.

A shouting match turned violent as objects were swung and punches thrown, the paper said.

What happened next?

Police arrested Hassan Saab, 24, for allegedly attacking Brian on the basketball court and for the assault outside his home, the Post reported. A police report indicates that Saab was armed with a scooter handle and faces assault, weapon possession, and harassment charges, the paper added.

However, Brian’s dad also was arrested for assault after Saab claimed the father hit him with a shovel and bruised his right arm, the Post said, adding that Brian’s family said the dad needed six staples to close a head wound and suffered other injuries.

“We are afraid he might come back,” the family said of Saab, according to the paper. “We don’t want trouble to escalate. We want justice.”

Indeed, community members who rallied Wednesday outside PS 264 in Bay Ridge called for maximum charges against Saab and for the charges against Brian’s father to be dropped, the Post said.

“It was self-defense; he was defending his home,” said Karlin Chan, a community activist who spoke on behalf of the family at the rally, the paper said.

The Post said about 300 people showed up to denounce bullying and call for justice:

  • “The bullying is not just happening in the school,” according to Lucy Ao, who told the paper she’s worried about her elementary-age children at school.
  • “Today it happened to their family, but tomorrow it could happen to my family,” said Jim Zhen, a dad from Williamsburg, the Post said.

The paper said when Chan told rally attendees the case wasn’t being investigated as a hate crime, one woman in the crowd called out, “Please don’t say this wasn’t a hate crime!”

Democratic state Sen. Iwen Chu defended the boy’s family and said her office will support them, the Post reported: “One thing needs to be very clear — our children’s safety cannot be compromised. This behavior needs to face the consequences.”

Saab and his lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment, the paper noted.

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