66 year old hard-working immigrant died after being robbed by a knife-wielding 12-year old boy

Forty years ago, Mehmood Ansari immigrated from Pakistan to Atlantic City and eventually opened a shop on the boardwalk - City Souvenirs.

The 66-year-old father worked hard, morning and night, and was “always smiling,” says his son Asif Ansari.

On Thursday night, tragedy struck inside the store. Mehmood collapsed and died shortly after being robbed by a knife-wielding 12-year-old boy during a confrontation with multiple juveniles who were rampaging through the store, authorities said. While Ansari’s autopsy results are pending, his son said he believes Ansari died from the shock of the incident.

Following his death, Ansari’s family and other boardwalk merchants are calling for more security in the area.

“He worked every single day, open and close. He worked hard for us,” Asif said. “He always wanted to have (more) security. He was trying, trying. But we didn’t know it was going to end up like this.”

Asif Ansari said his dad “was the heart of Atlantic City” and moved to the beachside resort town because he viewed it as a “land of opportunity.”

“He was friendly. He was always smiling, everybody loved him… We all miss him. We just wish he’d come back,” Asif said.

Asif Ansari said his father noticed theft had become an issue on the promenade, with kids and teenagers running into stores to snatch clothes, sunglasses and souvenirs. He talked about wanting more security on the boardwalk, Asif said. His store was between Kentucky and New York avenues.

Around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Asif said his father returned to the shop after working a shift that morning to bring food to his son, who was working that night. Five minutes later, a group of young teens and preteens tried stealing items. When confronted, they started harassing and throwing items at his dad.

During the altercation, a 12-year-old boy brandished a knife and threatened Mehmood, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said in a statement. Shortly after police arrived, the owner “collapsed and was not breathing,” the prosecutor said. He was taken to the hospital, where he died.

“This is like our home and it’s not safe,” Asif Ansari said. He said the incident was caught on surveillance video.

The two juveniles have not been charged in Mehmood Ansari’s death.

Both face counts of robbery, shoplifting, simple assault and conspiracy, the prosecutor’s office said. The 12-year-old boy was also charged with terroristic threats and weapons offenses, according to authorities.

Amer Kashmiri, president of the local merchants association, said harassment of store owners and theft on the boardwalk has been a problem “for awhile” and was an issue last summer too.

A few months ago, he said, officials— including the mayor, county sheriff and a state assemblyman— met with owners to discuss security concerns. Kashmiri said the police department needs to devote more officers to the boardwalk full time, as well as police substations every few blocks.

A lack of security on the boardwalk deters tourists from visiting the city, Kashmiri said.

“We need security. We don’t want to do business with fear,” said Kashmiri, who owns a clothing store and souvenir shop. “If people are scared to come to the boardwalk… if tourists won’t come, Atlantic City will not run.”

Deputy Chief James Sarkos, interim officer-in-charge of the city police, responded to concerns from business owners in a statement on Friday, saying the department is “aware of the concerns and complaints” regarding juveniles and plans to work with business on the promenade.

Following his father’s death, Asif Ansari says he wants to see a change.

“It’s not going to bring my father back but I hope he died for something,” Asif said, “and it should change something here… We need better security.”

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Avalon Zoppo may be reached at azoppo2@njadvancemedia.com . Follow her on Twitter @AvalonZoppo .

I advocate people getting second chances, but I have a hard time believing that someone who is committing armed robbery at age 12 will ever amount to anything positive. I hope I’m wrong.

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Was he stabbed, or heart attack?

Following the og philosophy on Floyd, his heart condition caused his death, not the 12 yr old?

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I have two friends who met in juvie, one of them in for armed robbery(both 13). Both are productive members of society with good jobs and families now.

Obviously not how it usually plays out but it can happen

He isn’t black so this isn’t really a big deal.

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Mike Tyson was in juvie at 12 for armed robbery.

WTF was all the shrieking and crying about in that video???

Was that the “parents” of the thugs??

Atlantic City is a compete shithole…

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damn white supremacists - AC is a stronghold

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Well done

Can you make the title longer?

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Holy thread title Batman

  • Mark1 would not be happy

Video sounded like a scene from Planet of the Apes.

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They used to have a term for these individuals, Super Predator. Seems to fallen out of favor of late

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I wanted to see if there was any limit.

Lmao did you succeed? If not just put an entire article in the title. It would definitely be the most accurate thread title in OG history.

If there is one I haven’t found it yet. Good idea LOL.