Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Man's Worst Nightmare

Has anybody been following this story about the NYC Cop who caught a savage beating outside a Queens diner, while some guy cell-phoned the pummeling, then put it on You Tube and Facebook where it went viral? If you haven’t read the story, click here: And if you think you can take it, here’s the link to the You Tube video: For countless reasons this story has haunted me all week. And suddenly I remember why I never said boo to anybody at the bars. Back in my going-out days, if some guy got in my face (‘You got a problem?’ drunken thug barks because he’s looking for a fight for any reason in the world), I always put my head down and walked the other way. ‘Hey, Brian, you’re a wimp.’ Oh, OK, but I still have both eyes and all my teeth.

Our friend, the Sgt. from Queens Mohammad Deen, was not so lucky. With his wife watching and screaming for the attacker to stop, he took a beating for the ages. I don’t mean he lost a tough street fight and walked away with ego bruised. I mean he was humiliated then eviscerated then ambulanced away on a stretcher where he was placed in a medically-induced coma, an inch from losing his life. There were no weapons, just good old fashioned bare knuckle, and by some accounts Deen had initiated the conflict earlier at a nearby nightclub. Some have even suggested he played big-shot cop to the wrong guy, a lunatic named Hayden Holder, who followed Deen to the diner, and the rest is history.

Before we go further, I will tell you Deen’s going to make a full recovery, albeit a long one, but I don’t know how a man ever comes back from that, especially when that man is a cop (the most testosterone-ish job on the planet) and double especially when the video of your whipping was viewed by millions on Facebook and You Tube. How does a man ever come back from that? Hayden Holder took everything from Officer Deen last Saturday night. When Deen’s back in business I can’t think of any situation where he’d publically puff his chest again. I don’t know how his wife could ever look at him as a protector again after watching from five feet away as some muscled thug treated him like a piƱata. How could she? Am I wrong, ladies? Even death wouldn’t work as the easy way out here. If he’d died on that street, Deen would forever be the cop who got beaten to death on You Tube. Beaten. To. Death. Imagine living your whole life and going out like that? A man's worst nightmare.

As for the assailant, Hayden Holder, who’s inside with no bail set, facing attempted murder charges, the NYPD has already reported he’s on suicide watch. Yeah. OK. Seems like a reasonable thing to leak on a guy you’ll soon kill then make it look like an accident. Incarcerated. No bail. On tape spitting in a cop’s face as he lay in an unconscious heap, then trying to punch into the car and attack his terrified wife, who he would've instantly killed, I'm sure. Holder’s gone. He’s dead. RIP, Hayden Holder.

One of our very good friends is a downstate cop. I don’t mean one of those tools who flashes his small-town badge around and drunk drives 90mph through red lights on the weekends, because he can. He’s the other kind of cop, the kind who changes the room’s temperature when he enters it, and if this had ever happened to HIS partner, he’d personally put the guy in the ground. I don't mean that as a metaphor.

One night, outside Sadie’s way back, I played the part of tough guy. Going way-way-way outside character, I got in some guy’s face in a manner that suggested I wanted to fight. For the record, I didn’t, but I knew he didn’t. He wasn’t as big as me and a bit younger. I had him over the psychological barrel, so to speak, but if he’d raged up I probably would’ve wilted. He just didn’t. Oh yeah, his girlfriend (very cute girlfriend) was with him. Anyway, I punked him down, as the lingo goes. And as he slunk away, tail between his legs, I made a comment about collecting his girlfriend for myself. I’ll never forget the look of defeat that filled his eyes. And I’ll never ever forget the way she looked at him. She just found out Santa and the Easter Bunny were both fake, in the same crushing moment. And together they walked off, around the corner, and gone.

I hated myself for doing that. I still hate myself for it. If I could have that moment back, I would’ve let him drop me on the sidewalk and go off a hero. It’s weird, looking back, I would prefer to lose my shirt then to live with knowing the hurt I potentially inflicted that night, over nothing. This kid wasn't some hippie, Phish fan guy who could shrug it off because violence wasn't his rack. He was the Abercrombie and gelled hair and veiny arms of a gym rat. It hurt him what happened. I hate myself for it. Maybe that's actually a man's worst nightmare, having to live with the crap you caused in the world.

Brian Huba


  1. Replies
    1. I 100% agree. This is by far the dumbest perspective to take on a man who barely survived. Getting knocked out by a punch can happen to anyone and anyone who has gotten into fights would know that. As for his relationship with his wife, she should ran that asshole over the second he step away from her man

  2. Brian, I found your blog searching for this exact topic after reading about the Deen case. I just saw it now for the first time (I know I'm late). In any case, I totally agree with everything you said. I don't think the physical pain is the toughest part for Deen, but the psychological aspect of getting whooped like you've never been whooped before, flailing on the ground like a fish, legs tucked in literally, in front of your newly wed 26 year old wife (they had wed in August of that year). I mean, she clearly didn't want to see it, (and was rightfully scared), and ran into the car. But how could she avoid it? It's everywhere now.

    So I think above all else, how could he ever feel comfortable around her again? I know this sounds vain and stupid and some people may disagree, but I really think he's screwed in the sense that she will never see him as a protector again, despite the fact that he seems like a fairly tough guy for a 18 year police vet.

    The romantic nights where he sweet talks her, the aggressive sexual encounters, all gone, because she's going to see him as weak, and that's just reality man, that's the way of the American world, and maybe other places, but women want a man who will stand up for them despite what they say. In this case, it isn't like he lost a one on one battle, that could be overlooked. He got whacked around, as you said, like a pinata.

    I could only imagine the emotional strain he's enduring. And yes, you're a dick for what you did to the Abercrombie kid, but shit happens, life goes on. Been there, done that, and I'm not proud of it. The one thing I've always feared is getting beat up in front of my girlfriend. Thank God (knock on wood) it has never happened, but that's a huge fear because it sucks the manhood right out of you.

    To think, that same night before the incident, Holder and his young 26 year old newly wed wife were out drinking, have a good time, getting ready to go home, end the night with some rough sex. And then BAM, this happens, and his world is turned upside down. I seriously cringe everytime I watch this video, because that's all I can think of. He has a nice car, he's clearly trying to impress his young wife, but after this situation, there is no more impressing. What if they one day get into a big argument, and she brings it up, you never know, women can be vicious. How can he comfortably make love to her now? Or go out with her and make her feel safe? Even if she claims it hasn't affected her, he knows it has, and it has thus affected him as well.

    I truly hope Deen is okay, and he will recover. But ultimately, his ego won't, and he's going to look at Holder, pictures, in court, and feel sick to his stomach. Because that's the man who took his manhood away, and he will never be the same for it again.

  3. Thanks for the comment! You're a really good writer. The Cat's Pajamas is now with the Times Union newspaper. Keep following:

  4. this gave me a good chuckle. why feel bad about emasculating the abercrombie kid in front of his girl? if he wasn't a pussy, he would have at least stood up for himself

  5. If you see the entire security video, you would have a different opinion. If the guy who walked away was the cop, there would never have been any charges. Even though Holder lost control, I don't have any sympathy for Deen.

  6. Deen followed Holder to the sandwich shop and attacked him. His BAC was .29.