RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors in Richmond filed charges against two former Chevron contractors they say attacked a Sikh man with a pocket knife last month.
The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office filed felony assault and hate crime charges against Chase Little, of Beaumont, Texas, and Colton Leblanc of Winnie, Texas.
Authorities say the men removed 41-year-old Maan Singh Khalsa’s turban and cut off a fistful of his hair. Khalsa’s religion mandates that he not cut his hair.
The alleged assault happened on Sept. 25.
Khalsa, a Richmond father, is waiting to hear if his finger will need to be amputated because of an infection to a cut he received while fighting off his attackers.
About 30 faith-based and advocacy groups sent a letter to the District Attorney’s office Thursday calling for hate crime charges in the attack.
Richmond Congressman Mark DeSaulnier has issued the following statement on the hate crime charges:
“I join the people of Richmond and the Sikh community in expressing my deep concern over the attack on Mr. Khalsa. Acts of discrimination and hatred have no place in our society, and no member of our community should ever fear for their safety because of their religion or culture. I am pleased the District Attorney’s office has filed hate crime charges and is seeking justice for Mr. Khalsa, and upholding the values of the people of Richmond,” said Congressman Mark DeSaulnier.