indica News Bureau –
The son of a city police chief has been sentenced to one year in prison for attempted robbery and assaulting a septuagenarian Sikh American who was taking a morning walk in Manteca, California.
On August 6 this year, Tyrone Keith McAllister (18) and his 16 year-old unnamed accomplice, kicked, abused and spat upon 71 year-old Sahib Singh Natt in an unprovoked attack caught on video recorded by a security camera on a nearby house.
Posted online by the municipal authorities, the video showed Natt trying to defend himself from the attackers who later fled, but Singh sustained injuries to his head, chest, arms, and lower abdomen.
McAllister appeared relaxed and smirked several times before San Joaquin County Judge Michael Mulvihill pronounced the sentence.
Deputy District Attorney Janet Smith called McAllister’ action “nothing short of prison worthy” and that he was lucky the sentence or the injuries to Natt weren’t worse. She asked the teenager to “take this opportunity to make a different choice and become a man”.
McAllister was arraigned in San Joaquin County Court after the district attorney’s office charged him with felony violations for attempted robbery and elder abuse.
His father Darryl McAllister had posted an open letter on the Union City police department’s Facebook page.
“Words can barely describe how embarrassed, dejected, and hurt my wife, daughters, and I feel right now. Violence and hatred is not what we have taught our children; intolerance for others is not even in our vocabulary, let alone our values,” the police chief, who will step down this week, wrote.
It is unclear what prompted McAllister’s resignation, but he and his wife assisted Manteca police to help track down his son.
McAllister, who has been the head of Union City’s police department since 2013, said his son started getting into trouble about two years ago. He committed several theft-related crimes and spent several months in juvenile hall and later, as an adult, in jail.
Though the Manteca police did not brand the attack as a hate crime, investigators were still looking into whether the attack meets the legal criteria for charging a hate crime, according to reports.
Natt, a farmer, and his wife Rupinder Kaur, have been living in California with their daughter for the past five years. His two sons, Chanranjit and Sharanjit, stay in Ludhiana.
Prior to an attack on him, a 50-year-old Sikh was attacked in California in July when he was raising campaign signs in support of Republican candidates.
Following the Manteca attack, another Sikh, Terlok Singh, was found dead at his store in New Jersey’s East Orange.
An estimated half-million Sikhs who reside in the US have been frequent targets of racial assaults in the country, especially after the September 11 attacks.
According to a report in The Guardian, many Sikh civil rights groups believe that the Trump presidency is to blame for a 17 percent spike in anti-Sikh violence since the 2016 election.
The president’s inflammatory language about immigrants and foreigners, they say, has made official profiling more prevalent and emboldened racists to speak and act more openly, the report said.