Roosevelt Island Sikh Resident Assaulted Near Blackwell House 8 PM Last Night - NYPD Investigating Possible Hate Crime Says RIOC
Image From The Sikh Coalition
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Report listed today:
8/7/14 - 2015 - 500 Main St. - Assault - PSD/NYPD responded. NYPD report filed.A NYPD spokesperson reported that a group of 12 - 13 year olds punched a male victim in the head at approximately 8 PM last night in front of 500 Main Street.
Image Of Area Surrounding Blackwell House (500 Main Street)
The victim suffered minor cuts and bruises, was sent to Cornell Hospital and then released.
This evening, I received the press release below from the Sikh Coalition:
A Sikh resident of New York City was attacked and injured on Roosevelt Island last night in an apparent hate crime. The attack occurred just days after another suspected hate crime, in which Sandeep Singh—a Sikh American—was run over and dragged on a public street in Queens by a driver in a pick-up truck. The Sikh Coalition is calling on the NYPD to investigate both attacks as hate crimes and urges witnesses to come forward.In response to my inquiries, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Director Jack McManus said:
The target of the Roosevelt Island attack was treated at a local hospital and is recovering from his injuries. Although he has chosen to remain anonymous, he issued the following statement:
I am a physician scientist living and working in New York City. My mom and I were walking to dinner last night on Roosevelt Island. Both of us wear turbans and maintain uncut hair in accordance with our Sikh religious beliefs. As we passed a playground around 8:15pm, we were confronted by approximately 10 teenagers. They called us “Osama bin Laden” and told us to “go back to your country.” They called my mother a “bitch with facial hair.” I told them to stop, but they surrounded me. One of them punched me in the face. Another one punched me in the back of the neck. Another one tried to throw a filled soda bottle at me. As they ran away, I tried pursuing them but was dizzy and felt a lot of pain. I called the police and was treated at a hospital.The Sikh Coalition urges witnesses to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. The attack occurred at approximately 8:15pm on Thursday, August 7th near a playground on the Queens side of Roosevelt Island. The attackers consisted of approximately 10 teenagers. Of these, one was a white male on a small bicycle who initiated the hate slurs; the rest were black; and three were female. The Sikh Coalition has requested the intervention of the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force and urged investigators to preserve surveillance footage that may have recorded the crime.
I want the New York Police Department to investigate this attack as a hate crime and arrest the people who attacked me before they hurt someone else. I want witnesses to come forward and contact the police immediately. My mom is visiting me from India. She thought that Americans respect religious freedom and that the police and the government here do everything in their power to prevent violence and arrest criminals. I don’t want her to lose faith that justice will be done.
“We’re tired of being targeted again and again by bigots, but Sikh Americans aren’t afraid and aren’t going to let a small group of narrow-minded individuals get us down,” said Rajdeep Singh, Director of Law and Policy at the Sikh Coalition. “We look forward to working with the New York City government, including the NYPD and Mayor de Blasio, to arrest the attackers, stop hate crimes in New York City, and make all of our communities safe.”
Headquartered in New York City, the Sikh Coalition is the largest Sikh American advocacy organization in the United States. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.sikhcoalition.org.
The NYPD 114th precinct is investigating and treating the incident as a possible hate crime.RIOC President Charlene Indelicato added:
In our very diverse community on Roosevelt Island, hate crimes are unacceptable and RIOC will work diligently with the NYPD to make sure Roosevelt Island is a safe community for everyone.UPDATE 8/11 - Statement from members of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association.
UPDATE 5:20 PM - A NYPD spokesperson confirmed today that the incident is being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force.
The Huffington Post has more on the incident:
Doctor Jaspreet Singh Batra came forward on Monday as the victim of an alleged Sikh hate crime that took place in New York City...Click here for the full Huffington Post article.
... As he continues to process what happened, Batra said he hopes for justice -- but not for vengeance.
"I know that these kids live in my neighborhood," Batra said. "I know they're teenagers, and they're still in the process of making sense of the world. For me to have closure, I would prefer that these young people come forward and accept their fault, and that we take a positive approach to involve them in the community."
As part of a long lasting path to justice, Batra said he would like to see a mandatory diversity education program in schools and colleges that teaches young people about the value of all faiths and ethnicities.
"I think there should be a school program where a diversity education course is mandated to make sure all youngsters attend because that's the age you start making opinions. That's the right time to catch these young minds, to make them explore the beauty that lies in diversity."