Gas Station, Store Owned by Sikh Businessman Vandalized in Kentucky
The vandals spray painted racial slurs as well as crude markings that said “leave.”
A gas station and a convenience store owned by an Indian American Sikh man at Kentucky were vandalized recently by a miscreant wearing a ski mask. The culprit spray-painted “white power,” swastikas and other racial slurs as well as crude markings that said “leave.”
“I’m just really shocked that somebody is doing that,” Gary Singh told WSAZ, about the incident that took place around 11.30 pm on Jan. 31. The report said that he got a call from an employee called Alley on morning of Feb.1. The employee told the Daily Independent that their regular customers won’t vandalize the place. “I’ve been here a year and I’ve never seen anything like this,” she told the Daily Independent.
This is not the first time that the store was vandalized. In 2014, former employees were caught by Singh vandalizing and stealing items, according to Daily Independent.
“I was really nervous about that. It happened to me for the first time in this store in four years time. I’ve never done wrong to the community here. I try to help the community all the time,” Singh told WSAZ.
The customers said that they were disturbed by the messages that were spray-painted.
“It’s sad that in America in this day and age we’re still doing this. It should not be happening,” Barb Glockner, a frequent customer told WSAZ. “He’s a wonderful member of our community, and no one deserves this. Especially not Gary,” Glockner added.
“I think if they put themselves in Gary’s place, would you want somebody doing that to you? We live by the golden rule. We do unto others and evidently they do not live by that rule,” Glockner told WSAZ.
Singh said that he could forgive the vandals, and hopes that it doesn’t happen again. “Please don’t do it to anybody else. Don’t hurt anybody’s feelings. Let them work and enjoy their life,” Singh told WSAZ.
No suspect has been identified yet. Kentucky State Police is investigating the case as criminal mischief but are not pursuing a hate crime charge.
A number of high profile hate crimes against Indians took place in 2017, including the death of an Indian engineer, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, in Kansas. According to FBI data, there was a 4.6 per cent increase in hate crimes against all communities in 2016.