A 19-year-old man was reportedly violently attacked Sunday on a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus in Queens, New York, for wearing a turban and a face mask, The New York Daily News reported.
The assault unfolded around 9 a.m. on Sunday while both individuals were on a shuttle bus. The attacker allegedly verbally confronted the Sikh man, saying, “we don’t wear that in this country.” He then allegedly went on to attempt to remove the victim’s turban and repeatedly punched him in the face, head and back, according to The New York Daily News.
The NYPD is investigating a suspected hate crime after a man attacked another passenger on a bus in Queens, harassing the young man over his turban and trying to remove it from his head, police saidhttps://t.co/Xp2JQpfAja
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) October 16, 2023
As of Monday, The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit was actively investigating the incident and was on the lookout for the assailant, who allegedly fled the scene post-attack. Authorities have circulated images of the suspect to aid in his identification and urged the public to come forward with any information that may lead to his arrest.
The MTA’s acting chief customer officer Shanifah Rieara described the attack as “shocking and moving,” the outlet noted. (RELATED: Landlord In Chicago Allegedly Stabbed 6-Year-Old To Death For Being Muslim)
“What I witnessed in the video did not represent what New York City embodies. You see a vicious unprovoked attackr [sic],” she said, according to the report. “He was not even in a defensive posture to protect himself.”
A Queens man says he was attacked for wearing a turban while riding a bus in Richmond Hill on Sunday.
— PIX11 News (@PIX11News) October 16, 2023
The victim, whose name wasn’t disclosed, said he had arrived in the country less than a year ago. Despite the sustained injuries, he refused treatment at the scene, according to ABC 7 NY.
“Right now, the victim is very traumatized,” community activist Japneet Singh told ABC 7 NY. “The family is very scared for him.”