A 71-year-old Sikh man was brutally attacked by a park near his home in Manteca, Calif. early Monday morning, prompting outrage from the community.
Surveillance footage showed the elderly man, identified as Sahib Singh Natt being confronted by two men wearing hoods. A suspect in a black hoodie is seen kicking Natt so hard that he falls over, his turban toppling off of his head. Natt gets up and attempts to defend himself, only to be kicked down again. The duo starts to walk away, but the man in the black hoodie runs back, kicking Natt as he is down three more times, before spitting on the 71-year-old, leaving him lying on the street.
Natt was taken to the hospital and was later released. According to police, the elderly man who does not speak English, couldn’t understand what the men were saying to him.
Naturally, the incident outraged the community and many across the whole state, especially as it took place just days after a separate attack on another Sikh man in Central California.
Some 200 residents gathered at the park demanding justice, the Washington Post notes.
It even spread all the way to Union City, some 60 miles out, where Sikh community members expressed their concern to Police Chief Darryl McAllister, hoping to prevent such a “horrific crime” from happening in their beloved town.
Turns out Union City residents had a right to be concerned because mere hours after that event, McAllister received a call from Manteca police telling him that his son, 18-year-old Tyrone McAllister was a suspect in the beating.
The police chief addressed the allegations against his son in a message on the department’s Facebook page, noting his disgust:
I am completely disgusted in sharing with you that, later yesterday evening, I received a call from the Manteca PD that the suspect in this horrific crime turns out to by my 18-year old son. He has been estranged from our family and our home for several months now.
Words can barely describe how embarrassed, dejected, and hurt my wife, daughters, and I feel right now. Violence and hatred is not what we have taught our children; intolerance for others is not even in our vocabulary, let alone our values. Crime has never been an element of our household, our values, nor the character to which we hold ourselves.
McAllister explained that his son “began to lose his way,” as a juvenile getting involved in a bad crowd.
He pretty much divorced his friends and family, associating with people none of us knew. He got into trouble for some theft-related crimes and ended up spending several months in juvenile hall. As an adult, he was again arrested for a theft-related incident, and he ended up spending another three months in adult jail as a result. Since being released he has been wayward and has not returned to our family home for several months.
McAllister and his wife worked with the police department to help track down Tyrone McAllister, according to the Facebook message, leaving the family, including McAllister’s two daughter’s “shaken to the core.”
It’s difficult for us to comprehend how one of three kids who grew up with the same parents, under the same roof, with the same rules and same values and character could wander so far astray. We simply don’t know why, or how we got here. In the eyes of the public, no matter the irrelevance to the incident, the fact remains that the father of the perpetrator of this despicable crime is a police chief, period. One cannot expect the general public (our Sikh community in particular) to factor in any sentiment that would distinguish this from the integrity of my family name. I pray that we, as a community, in conjunction with my family, can get through this and be even stronger as a result.
The chief’s frank post was met with positive feedback from the community, including several who identified themselves as Sikh.
Tyrone McAllister, along with a 16-year-old juvenile, is facing charges of attempted robbery, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon. Police say that one of the suspects brandished a firearm as they left the scene of the attack.
Authorities, according to the Post, are also looking into whether the attack “meets all of the legal elements for charging as a hate crime,” meaning more charges could be coming for the two suspects.
As for Natt, he is still sore from the attack, but is recovering at home. Unfortunately, according to Manjeet Singh Virk, a relative, the elderly man will no longer be taking his early morning walks around the park.
“Yeah, everybody’s scared. Everybody’s scared, you know, me, everybody,” Virk told KCRA, according to the Post. “Don’t do it again. That’s the main message. Don’t do it.”