A Sikh-American man was brutally assaulted by three men at a red light near Hilltop Mall Drive in Richmond on September 25, 2016. Police have arrested two of the attackers while the third one is still absconding.
The victim Mr. Mann Singh Khalsa, who works as a part-time volunteer at an elderly house, was driving back home at around 9 p.m. when the incident happened. The attackers were in a white Ford F-150 when one of them threw a beer can at him wholly unprovoked, hurling abuses all the while.
They then followed the bemused Mr. Khalsa to the next red light where the three accused stepped out of the car to physically assault the victim. The assailants began attacking him through the open window, knocking off his Sikh turban and punching him on his face, repeatedly.
“Cut his F****** hair,” one of them shouted, as a response to which they pulled his head out of the window and cut a fistful of his religiously-mandated unshorn hair with a knife.
“The shouts may be audible on the 911-call recording,’’ The Sikh Coalition said in a statement.
On October 7, 2016, The Sikh Coalition sent a letter to the Richmond Police Department and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office on behalf of Mr. Maan Singh Khalsa, requesting the authorities to conduct a hate crime investigation and prosecution in the case of the assault. The victim suffered stitches, a swollen black eye, dental injuries which will require surgeries, and an infected finger which may require an amputation as a result of the assault.
Read the full letter here.
“The attackers caused physical injuries and deep harm when they targeted my Sikh faith,” said Mr. Khalsa. “I urge a thorough investigation so we can address the tide of violence and bigotry in this country.”
“We just don’t tolerate this kind of thing in Richmond,” said Butt. “I think the fact they ripped off this gentleman’s turban and started cutting his hair, what other justification is there for that other than a hate crime?”
Mr. Khalsa, who is also a father of an 8-year-old girl, is an IT specialist at the Social Security Administration and works part-time as a Health and Human Service Certified Caregiver for the elderly.