A Bahamasair airport manager on a trip to Florida to get his annual physical was stabbed in the head in a cafe.
Harold Williams, 56, explained that shortly after 12 p.m. on Saturday he stopped at Pembroke Pines cafe to use the bathroom when he was stabbed in the face with an eight to 10-inch kitchen knife.
Pembroke Pines Police Department confirmed to The Nassau Guardian that two men were arrested after Williams reported the matter to law enforcement.
Police said Williams entered the establishment to use the restroom and as he walked toward the rear of the business, one of the employees struck him in the cheek with a knife.
The suspect claimed that he was defending himself, according to police.
However, police said, “Our investigation did not reveal that the victim was armed, or presented any threat to the suspect.”
The suspect was subsequently taken into custody.
A 24-year-old named Fawaz Hassan was charged with aggravated battery in connection with the incident.
He was reportedly later released on bond.
Williams, who said he was traveling alone for an annual medical check-up, said his face was still swollen and he couldn’t speak very well.
He said his condition has gotten worse since the incident and his eyes are now swollen shut and he is unable to eat.
He described his pain level as extreme.
“It was a very traumatic experience,” Williams said.
The father of two said he was running a few last minute errands on Saturday before he had to return his rented vehicle and come home, when he felt the need to use the bathroom.
He said he was looking for a familiar place but he couldn’t find a public facility. That’s when he stumbled across a plaza in Pembroke Pines with a cafe that had chairs and tables outside.
“I assumed they were opened for business,” Williams said.
“I went in and there were two gentlemen behind the counter and I asked if I could use the restroom.”
He noted that the youngest of the two men was very welcoming and invited him in.
“He came around from behind the counter and I assumed he was going to show me where the restroom was,” Williams continued.
“So, he said, ‘Come in, come in’. And as I started to walk closer to him, all of a sudden I just felt this blow to the side of my face and then I looked down and he was holding this kitchen knife.
“It was about eight or 10 inches long. Then I realized I was stabbed because the blood was just gushing everywhere.
“I just kept saying to him, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I just wanted to use the restroom, I’m sorry’.
“He looked like he was going to attack again and so I kind of stumbled out of there and finally made it out.”
Williams said the older man opened the door and shouted at him, “never come back here again,” and gave him his cell phone.
When asked whether the men shouted any racial slurs at him, the Freeport resident said no.
“He didn’t use any kind of racial tone or anything,” Williams noted.
“I don’t know the motive. I had no idea. They were brown skinned like me but they look more Indian or [middle-eastern]. I don’t know if he saw me as a threat. I don’t fit the profile. I am not that type of person to threaten them or whatever.”
Once outside in the parking lot, Williams said he continually shouted, “Help, help I got stabbed,” begging for assistance.
He said several cars passed until a guy finally rolled down his window, asked what happened and directed him to a medical facility across the street.
His wounds were treated at that facility and then he was rushed to the hospital by paramedics and police.
Williams said Florida police took a statement from him and informed him that they arrested the two men, but by the time they went back to the restaurant, the blood had already been wiped up off the floor.
“I got a call from the sheriff’s department yesterday who said they were released on bond,” he said.
Williams said he intends to press charges against the men and is in the process of looking for an attorney.
He is still unsure when he will return home, but he thanked his company and his family for all the support and assistance already rendered.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications