BROOKLYN — A man is wanted for attacking another man with a hammer in Brooklyn in what multiple Sikh groups are calling a bias attack, police said.
The incident took place at around 8:04 a.m. Monday morning at the Quality Inn on Osborn Street. A 32-year-old man was working at the hotel when an unidentified man began a verbal dispute with the other man and two other employees through a glass opening partition. The victim opened the door, confronts the employee and strikes him with a hammer.
The victim sustained bruising and swelling. The attacker fled to parts unknown. The victim refused medical attention at the scene.
The man wanted in connection with the attack is described as an adult male, with a medium build, black short hair and was last seen wearing black jacket, black pants, black sneakers and a black face mask.
Police did not say that this was being investigated as a hate crime, but multiple Sikh groups are calling this a bias attack. They are holding two events Saturday with the victim, whom they identify as Sumit Ahluwalia.
There was rally and a press conference held Saturday by the groups Sikhs Against Asian Hate Crimes and Stop Hate Crime.
Stop Hate Crime says that Ahluwalia is feeling better now with just a small bruise on his head but is suffering from emotional scarring. The events will take place at Smokey Park in South Richmond Hill.
Ahluwalia spoke at the event and said that his attacker spit on him three times.
“He started running towards me, he put his hand in his pocket, I thought he was pulling a gun, I got fear and he came running after me,” said Ahluwalia. ” He said ‘you are not my brother, you are not the same skin,’ he pull out the hammer and bang on my head.”
Ahluwalia says thankfully his turban absorbed some of the blow and besides a massive bump, he was not seriously injured. He was heartened by the outpouring of support Saturday at Phil Rizzuto Park in Richmond Hill.
Community leaders and elected officials calling for unity and end to hate crimes.
“Our brother was hit with a hammer just because he is a Sikh American.” said Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar, the first Punjabi woman elected to statewide office in New York.
Rajkumar says Sikhs are one of the most targeted religious groups in the country.
“In the past few years, hate crimes against Sikh Americans have risen by 200%.”
Ahluwalia has returned to work but is constantly looking over his shoulder.
“Now that I’m going back to work on the same street, when I go, I have a fear that somebody is coming from behind and going to hit me,” he said.
Police only indicated that the attack was being investigated as an assault and was not being investigated by the city’s Hate Crimes Task Force. says they will upgrade charges if and when that has been established.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or on Twitter @NYPDTips.ReplyReply allForward