A man is being held without bail after he was arraigned Monday in connection with a beating that left an off-duty NYPD sergeant hospitalized.
Hayden Holder is charged with attempted murder and felony assault in connection with a fight that left Mohammed Deen in a medically induced coma.
Police say the attack occurred outside St. John's Express Restaurant in South Ozone Park just before 5 a.m. Sunday.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that it stemmed from an earlier dispute at a night club called Maracas.
Kelly said that Deen and Holder happened to go to the same eatery after the club closed.
"He takes the sergeant's head and pounds it into the pavement. So it really was a vicious beating," Kelly said.
Deen was rushed to Jamaica Hospital and placed in a medically induced coma. He suffered brain hemorrhaging along with several facial fractures.
"I talked to the doctors last evening. They were guarded but had some optimism," Kelly said. "They were going to try and take the tube out, the intubation tube out this morning, and he was on a induced coma, or in a induced coma, I should say, and that was going to be reduced, and they were going to check his vital signs this morning. So hopefully we get some good news out of that."
The video of the beating is graphic, but a clip that NY1 looped and slowed down shows the assailant punching the sergeant's car window with his wife inside.
Uniformed officers attended Holder's arraignment in a show of force. They said the attack was too brutal to be believed.
"You have an altercation, you have a disagreement, someone gets punched. Now the person goes down and you continue to beat him while he is on the ground?" said Paul Capotosto of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. "It makes no sense whatsoever."
No one came to the sergeant's aid as he was lying on the ground, even though people could be heard cheering in the video posted to Facebook.
"I don't know what the mindset of the people who were there, if they were part of it or if they were afraid of this person, but it's difficult to watch," Capotosto said.
Holder's mother and stepfather were in the courtroom.
Andrew Worgan, Holder's attorney, said that his client blacked out and only remembers that he and Deen exchanged words at a club earlier in the night.
"He was intoxicated," Worgan said. "He just does not remember at the moment, and we'll see where we're going from there."
Worgan also said that Holder is on suicide watch.
"He is really despondent. He's very, very despondent," Worgan said. "When I informed him in the back that the police officer is in a medically induced coma, he went to pieces. He didn't know that."