Teen severely beaten with brick in NY; suspect arrested

April 13, 2013 8:11:26 PM PDT
A suspect has been arrested in the brutal beating of a teenage girl with a brick in Queens. Omer Khogali, 17, is charged with assault and possession of a weapon. Police say he savagely attacked 16-year old Michelle Rodriguez with a brick Tuesday night, in an alleyway in Astoria. She was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical, but stable condition.

"Oh yeah, that's my baby. That's my daughter. She looks really bad. Hopefully she comes out of this," said Walter Rodriguez, the victim's father.

Michelle Rodriguez is in intensive care at Elmhurst Hospital where Eyewitness News spoke to her father by phone.

He refuses to leave her side.

"I definitely want, want him to pay for it. I mean, I don't understand how he can hit a girl like that," Rodriguez said.

Police had released a surveillance photo of the man they believe savagely beat the girl in the head with a brick in an alley on 43rd Street in Astoria just before midnight.

Sources say the teen was spotted on surveillance video earlier that evening, talking to the suspect a few blocks away.

After the attack, he is then seen running away from the crime scene tossing away an object, possibly the brick used in the attack.

It was possibly the same brick captured in a photo of the crime scene.

"Who do you think would have done this to her and why?" Eyewitness News asked.

"I really don't know. I don't know if they were trying to rob her. I don't know, the people she hangs out with are really bad people," Rodriguez said.

The 46-year-old single father from Uruguay works as a carpenter.

He admits his daughter has been troubled for the last three years, dropping out of school and doing drugs.

"I tried to put her in a program. I was afraid that something like this would happen," Rodriguez said.

"They have this as an assault right now, but this is like he tried to kill her or something because you don't hit somebody like that, Rodriguez said.

This story was reported by KTRK-TV's sister station, WABC-TV in New York.

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