Sikh man hit by car and beaten up while waiting for ride in California
A 68-year-old Sikh man in California was attacked by two men while he was waiting for a ride to work.
Amrik Singh Bal was standing alongside a road in Fresno about 6:30 a.m. Saturday when two men stopped their car and shouted obscenities, reported the Fresno Bee.
Bal, who has a long, white beard and was wearing a blue turban, tried to get away from the men by crossing the street.
The driver backed up the car and struck Bal with the rear bumper — and then both men jumped out of the vehicle and beat up the older man in the street.
“Why are you here?” one of the men demanded during the beating.
The pair then jumped back into their car and drove away, and they have not yet been identified by police.
Bal suffered a broken collarbone and minor injuries in the attack, which police are investigating as a possible hate crime.
The attack made another Sikh man fear for the safety of his grandparents, who live in the same neighborhood.
“That’s somebody’s grandpa,” said Randeep Singh. “That was somebody’s dad, you know.”
Sikhs have frequently been mistaken for Muslims and targeted by violence since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“This is the latest episode of what Sikhs have been enduring when they are very peace-loving and hard-working citizens of this great country and not members of al-Qaida or ISIS or any other radical group,” said Ike Iqbal S. Grewal, of the Sikh Council of Central California.
A Fresno man pleaded guilty in September to attacking an 82-year-old Sikh man outside a temple in May 2013.
The assailant, Gilbert Garcia Jr., shouted anti-Muslim slurs as he beat up the elderly worshiper.
Watch this video report posted online by KFSN-TV: