Central Valley's Sikh Community Shaken by Hate Crimes
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed it is investigating a recent attack on a member of Turlock’s Sikh community as a hate crime. Meanwhile, police in Manteca are asking for the public’s help identifying the perpetrators in another assault on an elderly Sikh man that was captured on video.
The details of the first attack in Turlock attack are troubling to say the least.
Surjit Singh Malhi said he was putting out political signs early Tuesday morning near the intersection of Keyes and Foote roads when he was attacked.
Malhi said the two assailants told him to, “Go back to your country.”
He said he was putting out a political sign for U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, a Republican running for re-election.
To drive the hateful message home, Malhi says the perpetrators spray painted his truck with a white nationalist symbol and the words, “Go back to your country.”
Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Royjindar Singh said the only motivation for the crime that they can ascertain is that Malhi “was wearing a turban and he was Middle Eastern. That was the only reason they attacked him.”
On Monday came news of another apparent hate crime involving a member of the Sikh community about 30 miles away. This time, the attack was captured on video.
Less than a week after a 50-year-old Sikh man was attacked in Stanislaus County, an older man of the same faith was kicked to the ground repeatedly while taking a walk around a Manteca park.
The Manteca incident, captured on video, occurred about 6 a.m. Monday. The victim, 71, was at Graystone Park when two male adults confronted him on the sidewalk along Turquoise Way. The video, released by the Manteca Police Department, shows the man walking onto the street to go around the men, but they follow him.
Because the man does not speak English, he could not tell officers what the men said to him or wanted, according to a news release.
You can view the video of the Manteca assault here. Warning: the footage is extremely disturbing.