A man is accused of strangling an Uber driver and uttering racially abusive language during the attack in Bellingham, Washington, reports the Bellingham Herald.
Grifin Levi Sayers, 22, faces possible hate crime charges. He’s already been booked on suspicion of second-degree assault and a failure-to-appear warrant for fourth-degree assault. Sayers is out on $13,000 bail.
“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,” Lt. Claudia Murphy said. “Additional charges by the prosecutor’s office for (a) hate crime offense are pending.”
Anti-Sikh hate crimes have risen 200 percent since 2017, according to an FBI report cited by the American Bazaar.
The Uber driver who is from India has not been identified. He picked up Sayers at around 4 am on Thursday and took him to make some purchases before returning to the original pick up area. The driver told police the passenger became abusive and began choking him. Police located Sayers after receiving a panicked 911 call and arrested him, reported the American Bazaar.
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff or submitting a story.