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Hate Crime: Elderly Sikh American Man Dies of Brutal Attack Following Car Crash in Queens

Hate Crime: Elderly Sikh American Man Dies of Brutal Attack Following Car Crash in Queens

  • Jasmer Singh, 68, succumbed to brain injury a day after the incident his family calls a hate crime.

An elderly Sikh American man died a day after he was attacked following a car crash in the Queens borough of New York City. Jasmer Singh, 68, who was punched in the head and face by the man with whom his car collided on Oct. 19, was rushed to the hospital, where he succumbed to brain injuries. The police have arrested the suspect, identified as Gilbert Augustin, 30, and charged him with Singh’s death. His family now wants Augustin to face hate crime charges, according to a CBS news report. However, the NYPD has not yet filed hate crime charges. 

The incident occurred on Oct. 19 when Singh was driving his wife home from a doctor’s appointment in preparation for a trip to India this coming week, according to CBS News. His car collided with Augustin’s on the Van Wyck Expressway around noon, his son Mulani told CBS News. Neither of them were injured, but both cars had dents and scratches, the Daily News reported, citing police records. 

However, when Singh went to call 911, witnesses told police that they heard a man say “no police, no police” and then saw the man rip Singh’s phone from his hands as he sat in his car. Singh then got out of the car and followed Augustin in an attempt to get his phone back as the two argued. “The older man got his phone back and was walking back to his car when Augustin punched him three times in the head and face,” the Daily News said, citing the criminal complaint. Singh fell to the ground and hit his head, while Augustin hopped back into his Ford Mustang and took off, the complaint added, per the Daily News report. 

Multani told CBS News that his father’s “skull was broken. Two front teeth were gone.” He said his mother, who was witness to the terrible incident was “traumatized.” He said his father, who came to the U.S. from India to raise his family was “ a very noble person, a simple person.” He further told CBS that Augustin was “addressing my father with his costumes, with his turban,” adding that “there was no reason for someone to go in that intensity.” He said his father “was targeted and it is a possible hate crime.” He urged everyone to “consider the safety of the Sikh community,” so that “nobody would lose the father, brother, or son like I did.”

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Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Eric Adams remembered Singh in a post of X. “Jasmer Singh loved his city and deserved so much more than his tragic death,” he wrote. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I want our Sikh community to know you have more than our condolences. You have our sacred vow that we reject the hatred that took this innocent life and we will protect you.” 

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