HomeSikh AmericansSikh community calls for hate crime charges in brutal attack

Sikh community calls for hate crime charges in brutal attack

Prosecutors say Eric Breemen came into Lakhwant Singh’s liquor store near Denver on April 29 and began knocking things off shelves. Moments later, authorities says Breeman drove his black sedan into Singh, causing serious injury.

Breeman now faces a charge of attempted murder and five other felony charges. Members of the Sikh community remain upset no hate crime charges have been filed.

The Sikh Coalition told the Lakewood Sentinel Breeman told Singh to go back to his country after hearing him talk to his wife in Punjabi. Singh’s son said Breeman began cursing loudly and telling the couple they didn’t belong in this country.

“The attacker started going off on them, telling them that they didn’t belong in this country, telling them that they were from the Middle East,” Amrith Kaur Aakre, legal director for the Sikh Coalition said to the Denver News Channel.

Singh followed Breeman out of the store and attempted to take a photo of his license plate, according to police. An arrested affidavit cited by the Denver News Channel says Breeman tried several times to run his car into Singh before finally hitting him. The store owner suffered a  broken arm, broken ribs, internal bleeding, spinal fracture and needed staples in his head. He is now in rehabilitation after spending more than a month in the hospital.

“There is a pattern in the way (the assailant) treated (Singh) and his wife and the way (the man) decided it’s up to him to decide whether (Singh) belongs in this country and the way (the man) attacked him so brutally. I think all of us as a society need to stop, pause and reflect — it’s 2020 and this action is happening,” Kaur said to the Sentinel.

The District Attorney’s office says its investigation is continuing, but would not say if hate crime charges could be added.

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