A masked man who attacked two brothers in Hicksville Monday night turned out to be a former friend of one of the victims, police said.

Nassau County police said he is under arrest.

Police said Thomas Nigro, 38, of Croyden Lane, Hicksville, donned a ski mask Monday and assaulted two brothers about the head and face with a rope with a heavy ball also made of rope attached to the end of it. Sailors often call the rope a slungshot.

According to police, Nigro attacked one brother, who is 40 years old, at about 10 p.m. as he exited a car in the driveway of a Hicksville house, striking him "about the head and body."

When the other brother, who is 44, attempted to intervene, police said Nigro attacked him, too, wounding him in the head and breaking his nose.

The brothers managed to grab Nigro and hold him after the attack. Police said when they removed his ski mask, they realized he was a former friend of the younger brother. That victim told police he had problems with Nigro in the past.

Police said Nigro was charged with two counts of second-degree assault and one count of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Police said the younger brother refused medical attention, while the older brother was taken to a hospital for treatment. Police did not release the identities of either brother.

Nigro was scheduled for arraignment Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead, police said.

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