The family of an elderly Sikh man, who died of head injuries after being brutally assaulted following a minor car accident in New York, has demanded hate crime charges against the accused who has been arrested and charged with manslaughter and assault.
Jasmer Singh, 66, was attacked by Gilbert Augustin, 30, after their vehicles collided in Queens last Thursday. Jasmer fell to the ground after being punched three times in the head and face. He was taken to a local hospital in a critical condition where he died of brain injury.
The police reportedly arrested Augustin about two miles from the crash site and revealed the trigger for the incident. Augustin had tried to physically stop Jasmer from calling the police as he had a suspended driver’s licence and his Alabama licence plate did not match his New York registration. The New York administration will soon meet Sikh leaders to discuss the needs of the community in “this challenging moment”, said New York City Mayor Eric Adams The local Sikh community is perturbed because this is the second attack against a Sikh person within a week in New York. Last week, a 19-year-old Sikh boy was assaulted by one Christopher Philippeaux while he was riding the bus in Richmond Hill. Philippeaux allegedly tried to knock off the Sikh teen’s turban and told
him “we don’t wear that in this country”. Philippeaux too has been arrested and charged with hate crime and aggravated harassment.
Adams condemned the incident and vowed to protect the community. New York State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, who represents Richmond Hill, described the area as the “Sikh Capital of the USA” and said “in our community, Sikhs, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and Jews live together in harmony, often on the same block. When a crime occurs against any of us, it is a crime against all of us, and we come together in solidarity”.