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US airman convicted of hate crime for attacking Sikh man

Mehtab Singh Bakhshi was standing with friends near Dupont Circle on August 21, 2016, when Dylan Millhausen came up behind him, pulled off his turban and punched him in the face.

punjab Updated: Sep 01, 2018 15:06 IST
Press Trust of India, Washington
US airman,hate-crime,Sikh man
Mehtab Singh Bakhshi was attacked in 2016.(HT Photo)

A US airman has been guilty of aggravated assault with a hate crime enhancement for beating a Sikh man two years ago, a media report said on Saturday.

The victim, Mehtab Singh Bakhshi, according to court records, was standing, talking with friends near Dupont Circle on August 21, 2016, when Dylan Millhausen from Texas came up behind him, pulled off his turban and punched him in the face until he was unconscious, Washington Post reported.

A jury found Millhausen guilty and added a hate-crime enhancement as the victim was targeted for race, religion or national origin, according to a media release.

The victim, an adherent to the Sikh religion, was wearing a turban.

The crimes carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for November 30.

Millhausen was apprehended by police and told them he likened the victim to Islamic extremists responsible for terrorist attacks, according to court records.

Millhausen, at the time an Airman First Class stationed at Fort Meade, told officers he was acting in self-defense, and the victim had “swung at him”. His account was in direct contrast to statements by the victim and witnesses, the court records show.

Millhausen was also tried in military court on unrelated charges, federal prosecutors said. He was sentenced for incarceration on those charges, as well.

First Published: Sep 01, 2018 15:05 IST