Man stabbed to death outside Brooklyn lounge mourned at local pizzeria; police arrest suspect

A man who was stabbed to death outside a Brooklyn lounge was remembered Tuesday as a good-natured employee who worked seven days a week to fill gaps at a local pizzeria.

“Never came late, never had problems with him,” said the boss of victim Nessim Sahalon, adding he was “known as a really customer-friendly type person. He always wanted to be helpful to people.”

Sahalon, 30, was killed Jan. 10 when he got into an argument with Ansel Payano, 34, inside a barbershop on Flatbush Ave. near Avenue O in Marine Park around 8:15 p.m., cops and sources said.

The argument spilled out onto the street and in front of nearby Kaché Restaurant and Lounge, police said.

Payano pulled a knife and plunged it into Sahalon’s chest, cops said.

After the stabbing, the attacker took off on nearby Quinton St. where he threw the knife in a planter on the sidewalk, sources said.

Sahalon had worked as a manager at Benny’s Brick Oven Pizza in Midwood for about two years.

“Since the whole post-COVID, it’s been hard to source workers so he’s pretty much been working for me seven days a week for a long time,” said his boss, who asked not to be named. “That’s how dedicated he was. Never took a vacation. He was really dedicated.”

When Sahalon was just five minutes late to work the day after he was killed, the man knew something was wrong.

“Right away, I called and texted him and he didn’t pick up,” he said. “Then I asked around, and people were telling me.

“I was kind of in a state of shock,” he added. “I didn’t really believe it.”

The owner of the pizzeria told the Daily News his staff is mourning the “super friendly” and “outgoing” man.

“It really affected a bunch of guys,” he said. “I would say half the staff … they’re in a state of shock. It’s definitely had an impact.”

Payano turned himself in to police Tuesday and was charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, cops said.

Sahalon’s boss struggled to come to terms with the violent nature of his death.

“As long as I knew him, he was not like that,” he said. “He was on time every day. He’s up very early, like 7:30, 8 to be here on time. He wasn’t the type of guy to hang out a lot.”

Sahalon lived in Mapleton, where his family was still observing the Jewish mourning practice of Shiva on Tuesday.

“I’m very involved with the family, I brought them lunch by the Shiva house today,” the boss said. “It was extremely hard at first, I was in shock.

Payano had three prior non-violent arrests in the city, including for driving while intoxicated and marijuana possession, cops said.

Payano’s arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court was pending Tuesday afternoon.