Pizzeria Owners Stabbed in Queens While Breaking Up Violent Robbery Targeting Elderly Woman

When a father and son witnessed someone being attacked outside their restaurant, they quickly chased off the robbers — and got injured in the process

louies pizzeria
Louie's Pizzeria. Photo: google maps

A father and son are being hailed as heroes after stopping a violent attack that unfolded in front of their New York City restaurant.

Charlie and Louie Suljovic, who own Louie's Pizzeria & Restaurant in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., were working at their shop Saturday night when Charlie saw an elderly woman being robbed outside.

"My father noticed it first, that the woman was attacked and she was on the floor, and my understanding was he heard screaming," Louie, 38, told WABC. "So he went after them and yelled my name. Once I heard my name, we both chased them down the block."

Three men were allegedly involved in the robbery. The unidentified victim claimed the men knocked her to the ground and stabbed her before stealing her bag, according to WABC.

When Charlie and Louie intervened, they were able to chase the alleged robbers away from the woman and pin two of the suspects down until authorities arrived — but during the scuffle, they were also wounded. Charlie, 68, suffered nine stab wounds in his back, and Louie was also stabbed. In addition to their stab wounds, both are recovering from a collapsed lung.

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A tweet from police says that the Suljovics were treated at Elmhurst Hospital Center across the street — the same medical facility that received free meals from Louie's Pizzeria during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"[Louie] and his father are among the very best New York has to offer," police said in the tweet. "We thank them for their bravery and wish them a speedy recovery."

A GoFundMe campaign was established on behalf of Louie and Charlie to help them cover medical costs and make up for lost profits while they are recovering and unable to work.

Two of the three robbery suspects — Robert Whack, 30, and Supreme Gooding, 18 — were arrested Saturday and now face a slew of assault, weapons and robbery charges, according to online court records accessed by PEOPLE. Gooding also faces one count of attempted murder. Both are scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.

The third suspect has not yet been apprehended.

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