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Man accused of intentionally running over Sikh man with car charged with hate crime

Nearly three months after a Sikh business man suffered serious injuries when a driver rammed his car into him, authorities have filed a hate crime charge to the case.

Suspect Eric Breemen now faces a class 5 felony hate crime charge in addition to 16 other counts from the incident on April 29 in Lakewood, CO. near Denver, reported 9 News.

The announcement of an additional charge in the attack on Lakhwant Singh was welcomed by members of the Sikh community who were critical of prosecutors for not filing the charge earlier.

“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 in June.

Prosecutors explained the delay in announcing the new charge earlier this week.

“We would have preferred to have had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Singh personally closer to the time of his assault as we made decisions in this case,” said District Attorney Pete Weir to 9 News. “However, the severity of Singh’s injuries and health concerns related to the pandemic only recently permitted a thorough, in-person, interview with Singh by law enforcement.”

Singh expressed his gratitude for all the support he’s received.

“I am so very grateful to everyone–Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike, from Lakewood, elsewhere in Colorado, across the country, and beyond–who have stood with me and my family in this incredibly difficult time,” Singh said in a statement provided to Denver7. “I appreciate the Jefferson County authorities hearing my story and, through these charges, recognizing the role that hate played in my horrible attack.”

“The decision to add a bias-motivated charge against Breemen is a resounding victory not just for Mr. Singh, but for minority communities who are threatened by bias and bigotry every day,” said Amrith Kaur, Sikh Coalition Legal Director, according to the Denver Channel. “Adding these charges sends a clear message: Hatred is not welcome in Jefferson County, and those who are targeted for being different know that this community will acknowledge it and stand with them in solidarity.”

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