Neighbours and acquaintances of the Manhattan bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami have described him as a familiar resident of their community who helped in the family-run chicken restaurant. They lived above the store, which is wedged between a beauty salon and a shop advertising money transfers and computer help.
Flee Jones is a childhood friend of Rahami:
“He used to give free food, nice guy, he was very calm, never gave attitude or anything. It’s a shock to see all that’s going on right now with all of this. He got more religious, that’s the only change I seen, more mature, more religious, it was just regular.”
But there were also frequent complaints about noise and the take-away’s 24-hour opening times. Legal action was brought against his family which they fought but lost.
Mary Villilo works in a dentist’s office across the street from the takeaway:
“We see them every day, we say hi to them, we even buy stuff from their place sometimes and they were like normal people, hi and bye.”
But her colleague Brenda Lee said things changed at night:
“In the evening when we leave, is when people complained that they were rowdy, they were a bunch of kids, like how kids make noises.”
“Yes, 3 o’clock, sometimes later than that,” said another neighbour,“Yes, it was a little too much but we’re not the only ones saying this because all my neighbors, actually the next door neighbor, would say the same thing, we talked about it and my husband even mentioned it to the mayor.”