A California man was charged with a hate crime after allegedly punching and throwing hot coffee on a Sikh 7-Eleven employee.
Surveillance footage shows the man, identified as John Crain, attacking the clerk near the store’s exit early Wednesday. The employee told the Marysville Police Department that Crain had tried to leave without paying for his coffee, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Crain later admitted to assaulting the clerk and told the police that he hates Muslims, according to the Bee. Local news station CBS13 confirmed that the clerk was actually Sikh, not Muslim. Police said he was injured by the hot coffee and had a contusion on his face.
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Crain was arrested on Wednesday after police responded to reports of another assault in the area and found Crain, who they said matched the description from the earlier assault.
Crain was booked into Yuba County Jail on charges of theft, assault and a hate crime. Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to the Marysville Police Department for comment.
Local Sikh and Muslim organizations condemned the attack in a Friday press release.
“We condemn this attack on an individual because of his faith,” said Saad Sweilem, civil rights attorney for the Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “This hate crime represents yet another attack on our Sikh brothers and sisters fueled by Islamophobia and those emboldened by this administration’s xenophobic policies and sentiments. We welcome the hate crime charges and encourage law enforcement to continue to take these clear incidents of bias seriously.”
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