Ex Cop Charged in Flag Assault
To ARMS! Gas-station manager Yavuz Erdogan shows how he fended off attackers.
Picture by Victor Alcorn
Written by Kiernan Crowley for The NY Post
A retired NYPD cop and his sons beat a Long Island gas-station manager with American flags on Election Night, telling the Turkish immigrant to “get out of my country,” authorities and witnesses said.
After he was clubbed in the face and chest and a flagpole was thrown at him, Yavuz Erdogan, 38 — who became a citizen in March — picked up the banner to fend off ex-cop Richard Vitale, he said.
Nassau cops stopped the battle at that point.
Vitale, sons Richard Jr. and Gregory, Christopher Makhmaltchi and Nicholas Lazarus were charged with assault. Vitale and Richard Jr. also face weapons charges — for the flagpole.
Hate-crime charges were not filed because the anti-immigrant comments were made after the attack.
The melee at the OK Gas Station in Levittown unfolded after clerk Yuksel Cebeci, 37, refused to sell a cigar to Lazarus, because he’s 17. The teen and his pals allegedly attacked Cebeci and fled.
About 20 minutes later, Vitale, his sons and Makhmaltchi, 19, roared into the station as cops were interviewing Cebeci. Despite warnings, they allegedly tried to get at the clerk.
Vitale then yelled, “Aliens, get out of my country!” while whacking Erdogan with the Stars and Stripes, the manager said.
The suspects’ lawyer denies the charges.