A 20-year-old man has been arrested for robbing and assaulting two Sikh men on a street in Queens, the New York Police Department told CBS News. The attack came just a week after a 70-year-old Sikh man was injured in a separate incident in the same neighborhood, according to the Sikh Coalition.
“Sikhs are no strangers to hatred of violence, but the recent series of repeated attacks in the same place is particularly disheartening and reprehensible,” said Nikki Singh, policy and advocacy officer for the Sikh Coalition, on Wednesday. in a press release. “We continue to stand with all communities that continue to experience this kind of trauma.”
Around 7 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to a report of an assault in Queens, New York. Upon arriving at the scene, officers found two men, identified by the NYPD as a 76-year-old man and a 64-year-old man, with minor injuries.
According to a preliminary investigation, two men approached and beat the two victims with their fists and a wooden stick. The men then stripped the two victims of their religious headgear and took their money.
The victims were transported to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and are in stable condition, the NYPD said.
Hezekiah Coleman, 20, was arrested and charged with two counts of hate crime robbery, one count of robbery, one count of assault classified as a hate crime and one count of aggravated harassment, a said the NYPD. The other suspect has not been arrested.
The Sikh Coalition mentioned he has been in contact with the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, and officials are still looking for the other suspect.
The attack comes just over a week after Nirmal Singh, a 70-year-old Sikh visiting from Canada, was punched in the face on his early morning drive to the Sikh Cultural Society in Queens, CBS New York..
It is unclear whether the two incidents, which occurred in the same neighborhood, are related.
The police have asked anyone with information about the suspect in this incident to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline.