A man accused of attacking and pulling the beard of a Sikh professor in the US city of New York last year has been arrested and charged with a hate crime, police said on Saturday.
Christian Morales, 20, was charged with aggravated harassment for the September attack on Columbia University professor Prabhjot Singh, who suffered a broken jaw.
Singh, 31, was walking home with a friend when he was accosted by a group of 12 to 15 young men who called the professor “Osama” and a “terrorist” before attacking him.
He was kicked, punched and left with a broken jaw in an attack that ended after other people intervened, police said. Detectives from the hate crimes task force are investigating the case.
Singh co-authored a 2012 op-ed in The New York Times accusing the federal government of failing to accurately measure the extent of anti-Sikh violence in response to the August 2012 mass shooting by a white supremacist at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left six people and the gunman dead.
Wade Michael Page, an Army veteran who opened fire at the Sikh temple was a frequent user of a racist website called Stormfront, which describes itself as a community of “White Nationalists” and “the voice of the new, embattled White minority.”
According to a new study, Americans who use racist websites are becoming “disproportionately responsible” for racially motivated murders and mass killings.
Nearly 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by frequent users of the racist Stormfront site, according to a report released on Thursday by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit civil rights organization.
Frazier Glenn Cross, a white supremacist charged with killing three people near two Jewish community facilities in suburban Kansas City last week, had posted more than 12,000 messages on Stormfront, which carries the slogan “No Jews, Just Right.”