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Gaza Backlash?: Sikh Teen Attacked and Punched on New York City Bus for Wearing Turban 

Gaza Backlash?: Sikh Teen Attacked and Punched on New York City Bus for Wearing Turban 

  • The 19-year-old was was riding the bus on Oct. 15 morning near the Richmond Hill section of Queens.

Search is ongoing for a suspect who attacked a Sikh teen on an MTA shuttle bus in Queens, New York, this past weekend. The 19-year-old, whose identity is currently withheld by the New York Police Department, was allegedly attacked because of his turban. “We don’t wear that in this country,” the suspect told the victim, ABC News reported. The suspect then “punched the victim several times and attempted to remove his turban,” the report added. The teenager was riding the bus around 9 a.m. on Oct. 15 near 118th Street and Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill.

Police told PIX11 that the suspect is “between 25 to 35 years old, and is around 5’9″ with brown eyes and black hair.” He was last seen wearing a yellow bubble jacket, blue jeans and sneakers. 

Several civic and human rights groups condemned the attack. “We condemn this apparently bias-motivated hate crime assault against the Sikh community,” read a statement issued by Afaf Nasher, Executive Director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY). “We pray that the victim of this violent assault recovers quickly and heals from this trauma. We also support the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force investigation of the attack, and hope the alleged assailant is apprehended swiftly before harming anyone else.” 

Similarly, the New York and New Jersey chapter of the ADL tweeted that it is “appalled” by the news of the attack. “It is abhorrent that anyone would be targeted because of their faith or their religious garb.”

Meanwhile, the Sikh Coalition informed in a tweet that it is in “contact with the survivor, who “has requested anonymity for the time being,” and is “working with him to provide support as needed.” The coalition shared a statement from the victim. “I am shaken and angered by this attack,” he said. “I believe that no one should be assaulted or harassed because of how they look, and everyone should be able to go about their business in public in peace. While I wish to keep my privacy at this time, I thank everyone from different communities who has spoken out in support of me as well as the authorities who are taking this hate crime seriously.”

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The NYPD is also seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspect.

(Top photo, @ADL_NYNJ on X, courtesy

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