A 50-year-old Sikh man was allegedly assaulted by two white men in a racist attack in California last week. He was hit in the head with a rod several times while his attackers uttered racial slurs, saying “You are not welcome here,” and “Go back to your country,” reports said.
The Sikh man’s truck was also spray-painted with the words, “Go back to ur country” alongside a Celtic cross, the Modesto Bee reported.
The details of the incident were shared on the social media by an acquaintance of the victim. “Beaten with a rod on his head and they also threw dirt in his eyes…Fortunately he is okay physically due to his turban protecting his head…,” the Facebook post said.
The incident, which took place at the intersection of Keyes and Foote Roads, is being investigated by the police as a “hate crime,” the report added.
“This is a random despicable criminal act against a member of the Sikh community,” Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson was quoted as saying in the report. Sheriff Sgt. Tom Letras also denounced the incident as “a heinous crime” and said that they are “aggressively investigating it,” the report added.
The sheriff’s report disclosed that the alleged incident took place when the Sikh man was putting up signs for local candidates, when the two white men, wearing black hoodies, came and assaulted him multiple times with a rod. The victim was in need of immediate medical attention and received treatment for bruises and cuts. He did not suffer any major head injury because of the turban he was wearing, according to the Facebook post.
The name and identity of the Sikh man have not been revealed.
Racial attacks on Sikhs remain a recurring crime in the United States, and incidents of racial crime have reportedly increased since Donald Trump assumed presidency.
In March 2018, a Sikh man was called a “terrorist” by Steven Laverty, a New Jersey resident who was later charged with fourth degree bias intimidation, harassment for striking or offensive touching, and harassment for communication in a manner to cause alarm to the victim. Laverty had allegedly called the Sikh man a “Muslim,” and told him to go back to his country.
In another incident that took place in March, a man in Louisiana was arrested for driving his car into a Sikh-owned convenience store.
The Sikh mayor of Hoboken City, New Jersey, Ravinder Bhalla, also acknowledged earlier this year that he and his family received death threats in the run-up to the election to the post. Ahead of the mayoral election in November last year, racist fliers were also distributed against him in the city.