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Man faces hate crime charges for deadly assault on Sikh American

A Queens man is facing hate crime charges for the death of 66-year-old Jasmer Singh. The Sikh American man died after a fender bender on a New York City freeway led to a physical assault.

According to the New York Daily News, 30-year-old Gilbert Augustin was charged with manslaughter and assault as a hate crime on October 31 in Queens Supreme Court.

Court documents say Singh was driving a blue Toyota when he collided with Augustin’s black Ford Mustang on Van Wyck Expressway, QNS reports. Singh pulled over to assess the damages.

Witnesses say Augustin got out of his car and approached Singh who was still seated in his own car. One witness said they heard Augustin call Singh “turban man” and ask him not to call the police.

Video surveillance shows Augustin reaching into Singh’s car to grab his phone. Singh gets out of his car and retrieves his phone. According to QNS, Augustin then punched Singh three times in the head. The force of the punches caused Singh to fall backward and hit his head.

Singh sustained a brain injury and died in the hospital the next day.

Since news of the deadly assault broke, Singh’s family has been calling for a hate crime investigation. On Tuesday, outside of the courthouse, allies gathered to support the family.

“Every citizen stood with me, especially the gentlemen here with me today, in this moment of grief for us, for my family,” Singh’s son Subeg Multani said outside Queens Criminal Court, according to The New York Daily News. “I’m very thankful for everyone who stood up on social media, electronic media, and print media. This is the country of rule of law. As a victim, I’m thanking everyone.”

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

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