COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Owner Hany Baransi said he is unsure of the fate of his restaurant after a machete attack left several people injured at the establishment.
While Nazareth Mediterranean Cuisine will open for normal business hours on Friday, Baransi tells NBC4 he is contemplating going back to Israel, or taking a break from the business.
It’s been a week since the machete attack was carried out at his restaurant.
Baransi said he is just now starting to process what happened, including knowing his friend Bill Foley is still in the hospital.
“It’s not easy to live with the guilt of seeing my best friend laying in bed because of me a hospital bed fighting for his life because of me,” he said.
He said he has some safety concerns.
“I’m scared to be here for my employees for my staff. I’m scared. At least I feel like if I’m not here and people know that I’m not here, maybe they’ll leave my staff alone,” said Baransi.
Baransi also expressed his disappointment in the fact that the crime has not yet been recognized or confirmed for what he believes it was.
“Okay, you don’t want to call it terrorism. How about hate crime, discrimination, anything you know.”
Baransi said he is disappointed there wasn’t more of an outpouring of support from government leaders.
“Maybe just a word from somebody high up just to say, ‘Hey we’re thinking of you. We support you. We’re sorry you had to deal with this.’”
Micki Zakas, Baransi’s friend and the restaurant accountant, said staff and family will “somehow” be stronger as a result.
“It changes people. It just brings the hate of the world into your life and that changes people,” she said.
“With strength, this will pass and we will all somehow manage to get stronger after this. It will make us stronger.”