In yet another case of violence against Sikhs in California’s Fresno city, a 70-year-old Sikh man was left bloodied and bruised after armed robbers attacked him while he was taking a walk along with his wife.
However, police said it was not a case of hate crime but seemed like robbers picking on older people. The robbers struck on Monday night on the northwest side of the Fresno town. The victims, the man and his 69-year-old wife who have not been named, were taking a walk at night when they noticed three young men walking towards them.
Two of those guys caught up and one of them was armed. “He pulled out a folding knife and told the male victim he wanted money and his cell phone. He repeated that three times,” Fresno police Lt Joe Gomez was quoted as saying by KFSN-TV.
The man did not have any money, but he gave up his phone. As soon as he did, the guy without a knife launched an attack. “He just rushes and kind of cold cocks the victim in the face, really for no reason,” Gomez said.
The elderly fell to the ground as blood spilled all over his clothes. The robbers then patted down his wife to make sure she had nothing of value and then they took off.
“It looks like young robbers picking on older people. That’s what the motivation is here,” Gomez said while stating that it was not a hate crime.
Just a couple blocks from the scene of the attack is a new Gurdwara and members there have been on high alert in light of recent assaults classified as hate crimes against Sikhs.
A 68-year-old Sikh man was stabbed to death in Fresno city on January 1 this year. Alexis Mendoza and Daniel Wilson are charged with a hate crime for attacking Amrik Singh Bal, including by running him down in a car -- an act caught on surveillance video from a home in the area in December.
Last September, Gilbert Garcia was convicted of attacking 82-year-old Piara Singh because of his cultural appearance.