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Indian attacked in apparent hate crime in New Jersey

world Updated: Jul 07, 2015 10:05 IST

An elderly Indian-American man was attacked and left bleeding on the road in a New Jersey neighbourhood in an apparent hate crime attack.

The assailant has been taken into custody.

Rohit Patel, 57, sustained serious injuries including broken teeth, stitches on his mouth and forehead after he was knocked down and beaten over the head by Nyle Kilgore in North Brunswick last week.

A report in CBSNew York said police had taken Kilgore, 24, into custody and charged him with bias intimidation and aggravated assault. The accused is now out on bail.

The report cited police as saying that the attacker targeted Patel because he is an Indian.

"My dad is a very fragile, innocent man who was just on his daily walk. What went through your mind to see him and actually want to cause him pain?" said Dipen Patel, son of injured man Rohit, in the CBS report. Dipen said his father was walking in the neighborhood when he saw someone getting out of the car that had stopped nearby.

The attacker followed Rohit for less than a minute before knocking him out with a blow to the head. Rohit's son questioned the bail granted to Kilgore, saying, "I don't understand how you can have someone who is continuously committing hate crimes, violent hate crimes, and he's able to get out the same night." With his alleged attacker out on bail, Rohit said he's afraid to leave home and so are many in the local Indian community.

The New York and New Jersey areas have a huge population of Indian-origin people.

In the recent past, the Indian-American community has been the target of a spate of robberies, particularly during the days following Diwali when the families have cash and gold jewelry at home.