By Kathianne Boniello
Police said Saturday the South Ozone Park man accused of attacking Mohamed Abibulla Sakoor Friday afternoon was being charged with second-degree assault charges until the city medical examiner's office could confirm the cause of Sakoor's death.
Sakoor, 34, of 95-17 91st St. in Richmond Hill, went to an auto body shop on Rockaway Boulevard last week where Subhan Baksh worked to collect $50 Baksh owed him, Detective Carolyn Chew said.
The two men began fighting, Chew said, and Baksh, 24, of 119-14 130 St., struck Sakoor on the head and arm with a large knife. Sakoor was able to leave the shop and re-enter, police said, before leaving a second time and walking to a pay phone around the corner, where he called 911 and collapsed.
“He's dead for $50,” Bibi Lekram said of her son's death. “Is it worth it?”
Lekram said her son was a kind person who often lent money to people but rarely sought its return. She said she did not understand why Sakoor chose to collect on Baksh's debt, when he was owed more money from a previous employer.
“I don't know why he would go after $50,” she said.
Sakoor, a Guyanese immigrant, had lived in Richmond Hill for 16 years, his mother said.
A spokeswoman for the city medical examiner's office said Tuesday the exact cause of Sakoor's death could not be determined without further study. An autopsy performed Saturday was inconclusive, she said.
Lekram, who said her son had been living with her and had not held a job since undergoing triple bypass surgery in 1999, said she believes Sakoor died because of the attack.
“That guy killed him,” she said, her eyes beginning to tear. “The blow killed him. It couldn't be that he died from an argument.
“The blow was too strong and his heart couldn't take it – that's my guess,” she said. “I'm going to miss him so much. I can't imagine this happening.”
Gary Thom, Lekram's husband, said his stepson “had a good heart for people.”
Thom smiled as he remembered how Sakoor, who used to work in a bakery, impressed the family during the holidays by making breads and sponge cakes.
“He was doing it so fast,” Thom said. “He makes us so happy.”
Sharon Salick, a neighbor, said she would often visit with Sakoor to chat or learn about baking.
“We're like pals,” she said.
Sakoor would have been 35 this September, his mother said.
“He's a good person,” she said. “He was kind-hearted to his friends and those he knew.”
Lekram said her son was not friendly with Baksh.
Baksh was “a friend of a friend” of Sakoor's, Lekram said. “He didn't know the guy.”