We had a nasty little hate crime here in Seattle involving a drunken football fan who got tossed from Husky Stadium and decided to take it all out on the Sikh taxi driver giving him a ride home:
- The suspect, a 20-year-old Kent man, was released on $25,000 bail Monday. He remains under investigation for third-degree assault and malicious harassment, the state's hate crime charge, court and jail records say.
Trying to escape the attack, the 48-year-old victim stopped in a car pool lane Saturday night on Interstate 5, near Columbian Way, and scrambled out, state troopers said. His attacker had punched, choked and bitten him, calling him an "Iraqi terrorist," according to police reports.
Only minutes before, police had asked the driver to take the suspect home after he had been ejected from Husky Stadium during the Apple Cup, the State Patrol reported.
The suspect knocked off the victim's turban and tore out clumps of his hair, according to reports. The beating continued as the victim fell onto the road. The victim briefly was hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center for injuries that included a concussion and bite marks on his head, according to police and acquaintances.
Now, I guess we all know why Sikhs are being subjected to bias crimes in increasing numbers since Sept. 11 -- they're being mistaken for Muslims. There's no small irony in this, given that Sikhs have historically endured harsh persecution at the hands of Muslims, which may play a role in many immigrants' presence here.
But ya know, they're all brown-skinned towelheads to a certain American mentality:
- The taxi driver, Sukhvir Singh, had stopped for food at a market on Montlake Avenue, near Husky Stadium, when police officers asked if he could drive the suspect home and he agreed, according the State Patrol.
On the way to the suspect's home, the suspect launched into a tirade of epithets and attacked Singh, according to police reports.
The suspect, witnesses said, was trying to climb into the bus that had stopped alongside when state troopers first arrived. His aggression continued toward officers, who nearly chose to subdue him with Taser stun guns, Merrill said.
The suspect told officers that he had attended the football game with a friend who had served in Iraq, Merrill said.
So I guess he was just trying to do his part.
Bias-crime charges were filed today.