SOUTH HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Two Sikh youngsters say they had been the targets of a hate crime at a Lengthy Island mall over the weekend.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer spoke with one of many teenagers and his father.
“Bodily I’m OK, however mentally… I’ve a 3-year-old brother. I don’t need this occurring to him,” 13-year-old Chaz Bedi mentioned.
“He’s like, ‘Hey Muhammad, come over right here.’ Properly, that hurts me instantly as a result of my identify is clearly not Muhammad. It’s sort of stereotypical,” he mentioned.
Chaz says he walked as much as them.
“We stroll as much as him and we are saying, ‘What’s up?’ Then we notice he’s with a bigger group of individuals, and we’re not making an attempt to get into any fights or arguments or something, so we hold strolling by,” he mentioned.
However the group allegedly adopted them and Chaz says it escalated with one teen allegedly saying, “Shut up earlier than I knock that ball off your head.”
Chaz, who’s Sikh and wears a turban, observed somebody was recording on their cellphone after which…
“He jumps in entrance of me after which he hits the left facet of my face,” he mentioned.
Chaz and his good friend went right into a retailer and waited.
An worker at one other retailer finally requested them what occurred and mall safety was referred to as.
Suffolk County Police Hate Crimes Unit detectives at the moment are investigating.
“We put on turbans due to our spiritual beliefs. That doesn’t imply you need to assault anybody due to what they regarded like,” mentioned Satbir Singh, Chaz’s father.
His father says they’re urgent expenses.
“A part of me says, hey, these are youngsters, let it go, we’ll speak to their dad and mom. One other a part of me says no, we are able to’t let this go as a result of if these youngsters get it simple, they’re gonna go hang around with one another and provides one another high-fives and say, ‘Ha, look what we did, we walked away,’” Singh mentioned.
He’s additionally been in contact with native officers about educating youngsters in the neighborhood and worries about whether or not his son will really feel secure going again to the mall.
“It actually disturbs me that you simply simply took away his freedom,” Singh mentioned.
His son has a message for the kids accused within the assault.
“Attempt to educate your self on who we’re as Sikhs and in addition to by no means do that to anybody,” Chaz mentioned.
Since many hate crimes go unreported, they’re additionally urging folks to contact police if one thing occurs to them.
No arrests have been made thus far.
His father says there may be cellphone video of his son being punched that mall safety noticed.