The unusual attack came against an Indian just day before the US commemorates the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
The man was identified as Inderjit Singh Mukker; when the assailant pulled up to his car yelling racial slurs, including, “Terrorist, go back to your country, Bin Laden!”
Mukker, a US citizen and father of two, was on his way to a grocery store and was repeatedly cut off by a driver. He pulled over to the side of the road to let him pass but the driver instead pulled in front of his car and aggressively approached Mukker’s vehicle, according to the information by the Sikh Coalition, a community-based organisation.
The assailant then reached Mukker’s car and repeatedly punched him in the face, causing him to lose consciousness, bleed profusely and suffer a fractured cheekbone and a laceration to his cheek.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he received six stitches, treatment for lacerations, bruising and swelling. The suspect is in custody.
“No American should be afraid to practise their faith in our country,” Mukker said.
The Sikh Coalition’s legal director Harsimran Kaur said the group believes that Mukker was “targeted and assaulted because of his religious appearance, race or national origin.”
“We request an immediate investigation and call on local and federal agencies to investigate this attack as a hate crime,” Kaur said.