Three people were arrested following a brawl that broke out after a funeral in Sunset Park that pitted FedEx drivers against members of a local mosque.
Authorities say that on Mon., Dec. 3 at around 12:42 p.m. a FedEx truck driver traveling northbound at Sixth Avenue and 63rd Street backed up, striking a 46-year-old pedestrian.
A large group of people who were leaving a funeral at the Beit El-Maqdis Islamic Center of Bay Ridge, 6206 Sixth Ave., responded by surrounding the FedEx truck. A dispute ensued between the FedEx employees and the mourners.
Cops say that a 23-year-old man allegedly punched one of the drivers, a 25-year-old man, in the face. According to authorities, at this point, another FedEx employee in the truck, also 25, got out and allegedly hit the man in the head with a fire extinguisher. Then, say cops, a FedEx driver slashed a 56-year-old male in the right hand with a sharp object.
The three injured individuals were transported to NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, where they were treated for minor injuries.
According to a member of the mosque, who asked for anonymity, the situation started as road rage caused by traffic due to a funeral.
“When we finished and were taking the body out, there were multiple members outside of the congregation that were going to their cars crossing the street,” he told the press. “We had double-parked cars here. The FedEx truck was coming by. [The driver] appeared to be impatient because he kept moving and he hit one of the members that was crossing the street. The gentleman was on the floor until the ambulance came.
“Other members went to see how he was and they tried to hold the FedEx truck so it didn’t go anywhere,” the witness went on. “Somehow, words were exchanged and then physical contact happened, and they started swinging and punching each other.”
At that point, the witness said, the FedEx employees got sticks and bats, and one of them “took a fire extinguisher and slammed [one of the members of the mosque] while he was trying to make peace. One of the [FedEx employees] cut him with a box cutter on his right hand. Then they got in the truck, closed the doors, and started hitting the people in front of them with the truck and hitting the [congregants] behind them with the truck.”
FedEx subsequently released a statement regarding the incident, saying, “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.”
Three individuals were placed in custody with charges pending.