They pled no contest to a hate crime of aggravated assault.
A decision has finally been reached in the case of Maan Singh Khalsa, who was brutally beaten at a stoplight in Richmond, CA last September. The perpetrators are Chase Little and Dustin Albarado. Both pled no contest to the charge of aggravated assault and hate crime. The men will serve three years in prison, and restitution payment will be negotiated at a future court date.
Khalsa was stopped at a traffic light when someone threw an open can of beer at him. The two men then jumped out of their pickup truck and started punching him through an open window. They then produced a knife, which they used to cut off Khalsa’s hair and attempted to slice off one of his fingers.
“My attackers hit me with their fists, knocked off my turban, and yelled, ‘Cut his fucking hair.’ They yanked my hair through the window and used a knife to saw parts of it off. In the course of the attack, as I tried to protect my hair and my head, my right finger was stabbed, and eventually required amputation.” stated Khalsa in court.
Khalsa is an Indian immigrant who works as an IT specialist for the Social Security Administration. He now suffers from common symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, including short-term memory lapses, depression and anxiety. He also has problems using his right hand and typing.
He described his life prior to the event: “I was so carefree. I considered myself an American like everyone else. I had never worried about being the victim of prejudice. I enjoyed my life fully.” He went on to say how he has changed, “When the traffic light turned green I was able to drive away from the attackers, but my life is forever changed… It is difficult for me to go out in public.”
In court, Khalsa looked directly at his torturers and said the following statement:
“As a Sikh, I believe that all of us are one human family and that we must treat everyone as equals regardless of our many differences. Mr. Little and Mr. LeBlanc, I hope that one day you will come to share this view. I still consider you my brothers, and I hope that you will learn about me and my community, and one day consider me your brother, too.”
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