QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11) – A man accused of beating another man on a Queens bus for wearing a turban was arrested Thursday, according to the NYPD.

Christopher Philippeux, 26, was charged with hate crime assault.

Philippeux allegedly approached the 19-year-old victim on the bus and said, “We don’t wear that in this country and take that mask off!” He then punched the victim multiple times and tried to remove his turban, police said.

The victim, identified as “Manny,” told PIX11 he was heading to Sunday service at a Sikh temple when he was assaulted.

“He was trying to take off my turban because when he was messing with me he said that ‘You can’t do like that in America.’ I don’t know why he was doing like that. He punched on my neck and my back. When I moved my face, he punched on my nose,” said Manny.

Manny, a practicing Sikh of Indian descent, said he’s been in the U.S. for less than a year.

“I’m OK now, but I’m really disappointed from this. I came here to feel safe here in America. But this happens and it really upset me,” he said.

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Erin Pflaumer is a digital content producer from Long Island who has covered both local and national news since 2018. She joined PIX11 in 2023. See more of her work here.