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5 accused of attacking L.I. man with flag pole

November 16, 2010 2:27:59 PM PST
Police have arrested five men for allegedly beating a Long Island gas station worker with American flags.

"They took the flag and throw it at me like that," Yavuz Erogan said, demonstrating how a group of thugs hurled a 10-foot flagpole at him.

The 38 year old gas station attendant is still shaken. The Turkish immigrant was struck in the face.

He says the men were yelling profanities and ethnic slurs.

"He curses at me and then he says get the hell out here my country," Erogan said.

It all started when a group of men tried to buy cigarettes at the OK Gas Station on Wantagh Avenue.

They apparently didn't have identification, so one of the workers refused to sell to them.

That's when a fight broke out

According to police, Richard and Greg Vitale went home to get their father, Richard Vitale. He is a former New York City police officer.

In the meantime, the cashier called 911.

When the group returned. Nassau County police say the employee was kicked and punched about the face and head and struck over the head with a pole.

"As they were running toward him, one of the individuals grabbed a flag pole. The attendant, to defend himself, also grabbed the flag pole," Det. Lt. Louis Monteleone said. "The officer was there at the scene, so he stopped that assault.

As for Erogan, he has been in country 15 years and attack left him physically and emotionally scarred

"My customers are crying, you know. He broke my heart because he broke my honor," Erogan said.

Police charged all five men with assault; three also were charged with possession of a dangerous weapon and obstructing governmental administration.

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