In a reported incident on a New York City bus, a 19-year-old Sikh individual was assaulted in what police suspect to be a hate crime. The assailant, described as a man between 25 to 35 years old with a dark complexion, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, brown eyes, and black hair, and wearing a bright yellow jacket, confronted the Sikh passenger. The attacker made derogatory remarks about the victim’s turban and demanded that he remove it, saying, “We don’t wear that in this country.” Subsequently, the assailant punched the victim in the back of the head, face, and back multiple times, resulting in a minor laceration and pain for the victim.
This incident occurred on an MTA shuttle bus, specifically, bus 8810, in the vicinity of 118th Street and Liberty Avenue in Queens, New York City. The victim, who was of the Sikh faith, was subjected to an attempted removal of his turban. Following the assault, the suspect fled the scene on foot along Liberty Avenue.
Fortunately, there were no additional injuries reported, and the victim declined further medical treatment. The New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit is actively investigating this incident.
The Sikh Coalition, a national Sikh faith organization based in New York, has been in contact with the victim, offering support, and has emphasized the importance of solidarity and vigilance in the current climate, referencing recent incidents like the tragic stabbing of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy in suburban Chicago, which authorities described as an anti-Muslim attack.
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NYPD Deputy Commissioner Mark Stewart has stated that the department has observed an increase in hate crimes in the city related to international conflicts, such as the Israel-Hamas war and tensions in the Middle East. He stressed that such behavior is not tolerated or condoned by the authorities.