hi INDiA Copyright 2020
Atlantic City Boardwalk Pakistani American Merchant Died After a Confrontation with Juveniles in his Store
HI INDIA NEWS DESK
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ- On Thursday night, tragedy struck inside the store. Mehmood collapsed and died shortly after being robbed by a knife-wielding 12-year-old boy during a confrontation with multiple juveniles who were rampaging through the store, authorities said. While Ansari’s autopsy results are pending, his son said he believes Ansari died from the shock of the incident.
Following his death, Ansari’s family and other boardwalk merchants are calling for more security in the area.
Forty years ago, Mehmood Ansari immigrated from Pakistan to Atlantic City and eventually opened a shop on the boardwalk – City Souvenirs.
The 66-year-old father worked hard, morning and night. He worked every single day, open and close. He worked hard for us, He always wanted to have (more) security. He was trying, trying. But we didn’t know it was going to end up like this.” ,” says his son Asif Ansari.
Asif Ansari said his father noticed theft had become an issue on the promenade, with kids and teenagers running into stores to snatch clothes, sunglasses and souvenirs. He talked about wanting more security on the boardwalk, Asif said. His store was between Kentucky and New York avenues.
Around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Asif said his father returned to the shop after working a shift that morning to bring food to his son, who was working that night. Five minutes later, a group of young teens and preteens tried stealing items. When confronted, they started harassing and throwing items at his dad.
During the altercation, a 12-year-old boy brandished a knife and threatened Mehmood, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said in a statement. Shortly after police arrived, the owner “collapsed and was not breathing,” the prosecutor said. He was taken to the hospital, where he died. The incident was caught on surveillance video.
The two juveniles have not been charged in Mehmood Ansari’s death.
Both face counts of robbery, shoplifting, simple assault and conspiracy, the prosecutor’s office said. The 12-year-old boy was also charged with terroristic threats and weapons offenses, according to authorities.
Amer Kashmiri, president of the local merchants association, said harassment of store owners and theft on the boardwalk has been a problem “for awhile” and was an issue last summer too.
A lack of security on the boardwalk deters tourists from visiting the city, Kashmiri said.
“We need security. We don’t want to do business with fear,” said Kashmiri, who owns a clothing store and souvenir shop. “If people are scared to come to the boardwalk… if tourists won’t come, Atlantic City will not run.”
Deputy Chief James Sarkos, interim officer-in-charge of the city police, responded to concerns from business owners in a statement on Friday, saying the department is “aware of the concerns and complaints” regarding juveniles and plans to work with business on the promenade.
Following his father’s death, Asif Ansari says he wants to see a change.