An international Sikh organization is calling on the Department of Justice to intervene with the investigation into the attack on a 71-year-old Sikh man in Manteca.
UNITED SIKHS has written a letter to the DOJ requesting they look into why the two suspects are not being charged with a hate crime.
"While we applaud the swift action of local authorities in the arrest, we are writing to formally request a federal investigation of the incident as a hate crime," UNITED SIKHS's Legal Director Manvinder Singh wrote in the letter.
"Mr. Natt has expressed directly to our organization, in his own words, that he does not believe the incident was a robbery, but rather a targeted attack, and the assailants did not take or attempt to take any of his personal belongings," he added, referring to the victim, Singh Natt.
The letter says that given the victim does not speak English, they are seeking clarification on how authorities arrived at the charges.
Tryone McAllister, 18, and a 16-year-old are the two suspects in the attack, which happened early morning on August 6. The two men allegedly tried to rob the elderly Sikh man while on his morning walk, but then pushed him to the ground, kicked him and spit on him.
McAllister appeared on court on Friday and was charged with elderly abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery.
Manteca PD says they have not called it a hate crime as there is no indication the attack was based on prejudice.
Gurvinder Singh, the Director of Humanitarian Aid for UNITED SIKHS, believes that the mere fact the two suspects came back and attacked the man after pushing him to the ground is a sign it is a hate crime.
"Basically something that signifies hatred in its purest form." Singh said in a phone interview. "Hatred for the individual, the way he looks, the way he's dressed, and this is something the community has underwent numerous times."
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