BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Diya TV) — A man has been charged with a hate crime after he allegedly threw a drink on a Sikh man outside a Bakersfield restaurant and yelled racial slurs at him, authorities said.
David Hook faces two misdemeanor counts of battery and hate crime in connection with the Sept. 30 attack, the Kern County district attorney office said. According to prosecutors, Hook threw the liquid on Balmeet Singh because “he appeared to be of a different religion or race.”
If convicted, Hook will face up to one year in jail and a fine.
Singh was attacked during the 7 o’clock hour on Sept. 30 while walking outside Habit Burger and talking with his cousin on a cellphone, he said in a video that he posted on YouTube. That’s when a man began walking toward Singh and shouted racial slurs at Singh.
Hook, he said, yelled, “So you’re going to blow up this country. You’re trying to blow up this country?” He continued to shout at Singh and threaten him, he said, adding, “You’re trying to blow up this country. I should … kill you right now.”
The man approached him, threw a drink in his face and said he was going to kill him for “blowing up this country,” Singh said. “I didn’t know how to react, so I walked up to him, and he ran or walk towards the parking lot,” he said.
“Incidents like this make it very critical to remember who we vote for as a president and who we elect into our country’s leadership really matters,” Singh said.
The Greater Los Angeles Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the attack.
“We condemn this apparently bias-motivated attack and urge law enforcement authorities to bring the perpetrator to justice,” the group’s executive director, Hussam Ayloush, said in a statement. “Californians of all faiths and backgrounds must stand together in the face of growing hatred and division in our state and nation.”