Anyway you slice it, these pizza makers are a cut above.
The father and son combo who thwarted a violent mugging outside their Queens shop nearly a year ago have a message for crime-weary New Yorkers: Don’t give up hope — or your lease.
“We’re the real New Yorkers. We don’t run from stuff like this. I was born and raised in this city,” a defiant Louie Suljovic told The Post this week.
Suljovic, 39, and his father, Cazim Suljovic, 69, were each stabbed and suffered a collapsed lung in the March 26 incident, had to close their shop for over a month — but never once thought to flee the Big Apple, they told The Post.
Nearly a year later they are still slinging slices — and smiling.
“This is my home [the pizzeria]. I’m there 90 hours a week,” military veteran Louie explained. “I see the kids [in the neighborhood] grow up, I see the kids get married and then they bring their own families to my shop. These are my friends, these are my family members. Nobody is going to push me from my home. These are my neighbors.”
“My dad. They don’t make men like him anymore,” he added. “He’s very head-strong, very strong-willed and nothing is going to push him out.”
Louie and Cazim were toiling at their Baxter Avenue pizzeria in Elmhurst when the father spotted Eun Hee Chang, 61, being mugged outside of their restaurant.
The victim was shoved to the ground, stabbed, and robbed.
“I see a lady on the floor and three people around her. I say, ‘What are they doing?’ They’re robbing her,” Cazim recounted.
The feisty senior ran out of the eatery to help and called Louie to follow. The younger Suljovic caught up to the brazen bandits and “wasn’t going to let go,” Louie said.
Louie was stabbed once in the back and his dad was knifed nine times — they each suffered a collapsed lung. Louie spent a few days in Elmhurst Hospital, and his dad a few weeks. Louie’s Pizzeria was closed until early May.
Two men, Robert Whack, 30, and Supreme Gooding, 18, were arrested and charged with robbery, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. The pair were indicted a month later on attempted murder in the Elmhurst attack and for a separate assault on a 75-year-old woman 10 days earlier, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
“People like this should have never been out in the first place. But since we have a terrible bail system and bail reform they would have been jailed for other things. Our system failed us,” Louie said.
Louie’s has no plan for a new pizza to mark their valor, but perhaps a “Humble Pie” is an order.
“We’ve been trying to lay low and under the radar,” Louie said, adding, “We are known for our grandma pie — and it’s absolutely delicious.”
Chang, the woman allegedly targeted by Whack and Gooding, has been in “once or twice” since the terror.
“She’s tough too,” said Louie.
He’s considered marking the anniversary of the attack somehow but doesn’t lose sleep over the nasty incident.
“I dream about what I gotta do the next day. Two slices and a soda,” Louie said. “I’m about to turn 40. It’s another day in paradise.”
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