Melee breaks out between FedEx driver, crowd leaving funeral at Brooklyn mosque

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Melee breaks out between FedEx driver, crowd leaving funeral
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Josh Einiger has the latest on the melee after a funeral in Brooklyn.

SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn -- Police are investigating after a melee broke out when a FedEx truck driver allegedly tried to drive through a crowd as a funeral was getting out of a Brooklyn mosque.

A witness at the Beit El-Maqdis Islamic Center on 6th Avenue said that at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, the driver got frustrated by the crowd of about 70 to 100 mourners.

Due to the crowd, traffic wasn't moving and some are describing what happened as a case of road rage.

"Traffic wasn't moving and I guess they tried to force a path, and in doing so I guess the truck maybe didn't see the congregant and they hit him," witness Naim Jawad of the Islamic Center said.

The pedestrian who was hit suffered minor injuries. Other people reportedly tried to stop the FedEx truck from leaving and that is when the situation escalated.

"It went from them trying to keep the truck where it was because they didn't want him to leave, words were exchanged, and after words were exchanged, punches were thrown," Jawad said.

Three people, including two FedEx employees and a helper, then went to the back of the truck and locked the doors. Witnesses say they later emerged swinging sticks, a fire extinguisher and possibly even a box cutter.

A board member at the mosque says the helper then ran away. The two FedEx workers were taken into custody, as well as the nephew of the man whose funeral was happening at the mosque.

They were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries.

Police say the two FedEx workers, both 25, have been arrested on charges of assault in the second degree. The 23-year-old man from the mosque was arrested on a charge of assault in the third degree.

A FedEx company spokesman released the following statement:

"We are aware of preliminary reports regarding this disturbing incident and are cooperating with investigating authorities to determine the facts. Until then, further questions should be directed to local law enforcement."