It was only last month when we reported that Sikhs were now the third most targetted religious group for hate crimes in the US. Tonight another incident has come to light that is been classed as a hate crime. A Sikh Uber driver was verbally and physically abused by his passenger Grifin Levi Sayers.
The incident took place in the coastal city of Bellingham, Washington. The incident occurred early Thursday morning, December 5 when the Sikh driver picked one Sayers near Barkley Boulevard. It was around 4AM that police received a harried 911 call from the driver that he had been attacked by his passenger, reports the Bellingham Herald.
The Bellingham Police arrested and booked 22-year-old Sayers on suspicion of second-degree assault and a failure-to-appear warrant for fourth-degree assault. According to police records, he was released on $13,000 bail on Friday evening.
The driver told the police that Sayers took the cab to make some purchases and then returned to the pick-up location. It was at this point that the passenger became abusive and grabbed the driver by his throat and squeezed it violently.
He also made racial comments about the driver’s brown skin. The driver somehow managed to get out of the cab and made a 911 call. When the police arrived, they were able to locate Sayers nearby and arrested him.
“This assault is being investigated as a bias incident, as Sayers maliciously and intentionally assaulted the victim because of Sayers’ perception of the victim’s race, national origin and religion,” said Lt. Claudia Murphy as cited by Bellingham Herald. “Additional charges by the prosecutor’s office for hate crime offence are pending.”