The Queens district attorney said on Tuesday that the man who is suspected of killing a 66-year-old Sikh man following a minor vehicle accident this month was driven by hate-fueled wrath and that the murder is now being investigated as a hate crime.
Credit: New York Times
“The Turban Man“ Murdered
According to Ms. Katz’s statement, Mr. Augustin, 30, and Mr. Singh, who both reside in Queens, had a fatal incident on October 19 just before noon after Mr. Singh’s vehicle collided with Mr. Augustin’s on the Van Wyck Motorway eventually leading to Murder.
Prosecutors announced that an individual who attacked an elderly Sikh man during a car crash in New York, calling him “turban man” on multiple occasions and beating him to death, has been charged with manslaughter, assault and murder as hate crimes.
District Attorney Melinda Katz stated that Gilbert Augustin was arraigned on Tuesday on an indictment that charged him with manslaughter assault and Murder as hate crimes in relation to the death of 66-year-old Jasmer Singh, whom he attacked following a fight in the Kew Gardens neighbourhood of Queens.
Referring to Mr. Singh as “turban man,” Ms. Katz claimed that Mr. Augustin got combative after the men stopped over. He also constantly told him not to call the police. Prosecutors looked over witness testimony and security camera footage, and he then took Mr. Singh’s phone, Ms. Katz said.
The district attorney’s office claims that Mr. Augustin struck Mr. Singh three times in the head and face, taking off his turban, after he retrieved his phone and started walking back to his car. The district attorney’s office stated that Mr. Singh lost his balance and struck his head on the sidewalk. He passed away the following day at a hospital after suffering a head injury.
After striking Mr. Singh, Mr. Augustin drove off and was arrested the next day, according to the district attorney’s office. Prosecutors claim that he was operating a vehicle at the time with a suspended licence.
Initially, Mr. Augustin was accused of assault and manslaughter. New Yorkers who identify as Sikhs expressed outrage at the lack of hate crime charges. He was charged with two additional hate crimes on Tuesday: manslaughter and assault.
Prosecutors indicated that Mr. Augustin could spend up to 25 years behind bars if found guilty. His attorney could not be reached for comment right away. At least two persons have been accused of conducting hate crimes against Sikh residents in recent weeks, including Mr. Augustin.
Following his taunts and attacks on a 19-year-old Sikh man on a Queens city bus last week, a 26-year-old man was charged with hate crimes. “We don’t wear that in this country,” the attacker allegedly stated before attempting to rip off the teenager’s turban, according to the police.
At the Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Sikh Centre in Queens this past weekend, representatives of Mr. Singh’s family met with Mayor Eric Adams and other public servants, pleading with them to take further action to safeguard Sikhs.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams committed to safeguard Sikhs and issued a clear appeal for teaching people about Sikhism after the Sikh community expressed worries about recent hate crime and assault events.
Adams and Jenifer Rajkumar, a state assemblywoman from New York, met and spoke with Sikhs on Sunday at the Baba Makhan Shah Lubana Sikh Centre in the South Richmond Hill district of Queens.
An immigration lawyer named Subeg Singh Multani, who was also present at the Sunday event, is the son of Singh, and he had stated that the attack on his father ought to be investigated as a hate crime. As he spoke to the crowd, Multani broke down in tears and explained that his father immigrated to the US from India in the early 1990s, carrying the American dream with him.
Multani had invited community members to be with him in court when Augustin was arraigned. “We’ll demonstrate our unity and solidarity” to the judge. This is a hate crime, as we can demonstrate to them. He had declared, “This case ought to be investigated as a hate crime.
The charges in the case include that late on October 19, early in the morning, Singh was operating a vehicle when it struck Augustin’s car. Singh and Augustin stopped to evaluate the damage right after the crash.