Sahbit Singh Natt, 71, can be seen on security camera footage being beaten by two suspects while on his morning walk in Manteca, California. One of the suspects has been identified as Union City Police Chief Darryl McAllister’s son, Tyrone.
The elder Mr McAllister wrote in an open letter to the community, located approximately 60 miles (96 km) west of Mr Natt’s home, that he was “devastated” by the suspected actions of his 18-year-old son.
Mr McAllister said after he had spoken with the Sikh community in Union City about preventing any similar attacks there, he had received a call from Manteca police identifying one of the suspects as his son.
“Words can barely describe how embarrassed, dejected, and hurt my wife, daughters, and I feel right now,” Mr McAllister wrote in the letter posted on Facebook.
“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,” he said.
Mr McAllister said Tyrone has been “estranged” from the family for several months preceding the incident.
He also wrote: “the fact remains that the father of the [alleged] 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”.
Several members of the local Sikh community immediately responded to the post expressing support for the police chief who, as resident Jaswinder Singh Jandi wrote, “has been very supportive...in matters of hate crime and discrimination”
The police department veteran of 37 years said his son had been in and out of jail since he was a minor and, with assistance from his wife in locating him, had been arrested in Modesto, California, following the attack.
Elsewhere, a 50-year-old Sikh man, Surjit Malhi, was placing campaign signs for Republican House member Jeff Denham in Keyes, California, when two men waiting by his truck threw sand in his eyes, hit him repeatedly, yelled “go back to your country!,” and spray painted his vehicle with the phrase.
That incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
Both attacks have taken place the same week as the sixth anniversary of the Oak Creek, Wisconsin, mass shooting during which shooter and white supremacist Wade Michael Page killed six people and injured four others at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.