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Food Cart Operator Says Vicious Stabbing Amounted To Hate Crime

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A food cart operator was viciously stabbed while working across from Bellevue Hospital Center earlier this week, and has demanded that his case gets classified as a hate crime.

Ayman Shiha told CBS 2's Lou Young he believes the motive for the attack this past Tuesday was that he is Egyptian.

Police said the attack was just over a sandwich.

Shiha needed 25 stitches to the face and ear, and suffered a plunging wound that narrowly missed his kidney and multiple other wounds to the left side of his body.

"It's a hate crime, because I work in a halal truck. You know, most of the people who work there are Muslim people or immigrant people," Shiha said. "Before he started stabbing in my neck, he told me, 'You don't belong to United States? Why are you here? Go back to your f***ing country.'"

The food cart was parked right across from the hospital in Kips Bay around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday when the attack happened. Shiha said the attacker became enraged because the halal stand would not serve a Philly cheesesteak at the halal food cart.

So far, suspect Louis Garcia is only charged with simple assault. The case goes to a grand jury on Monday.

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