An American man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for brutally attacking a 53-year-old Indian-origin Sikh taxi driver in Seattle last year.
Swarn Singh was assaulted with a hammer by Rory Benson in Dec. 2017, according to Sikhs civil rights group The Sikh Coalition.
Benson, who pleaded guilty to assaulting him, was sentenced Dec. 14.
Singh, who maintains Sikh articles of faith including uncut hair and a turban, had parked outside an apartment building to drop off Benson and his mother. Benson, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, attempted to suffocate him with a piece of cloth kept in the taxi to wipe the windshield, the coalition said in a statement.
Singh immediately ran out of the taxi, and Benson grabbed a hammer from his bag, chasing him on foot. Benson hit Singh in the head repeatedly, specifically targeting his turban and knocking it to the ground, according to the statement.
He suffered a scalp laceration and a skull fracture as a result of the attack and was rushed to a hospital. Benson was arrested.
The coalition said it worked with Singh for 11 months to make sure the Bellevue Police Department and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office were properly investigating the incident and reviewing appropriate charges.
Singh submitted an impact statement to the King County Superior Court, urging his attacker to recognise the damage caused, detailing his injuries and the impact of the assault on the Sikh community.