The man can allegedly be seen on surveillance footage punching the employee, and throwing coffee on him after he attempted to leave without paying for coffee. The man, identified by police as John Crain, was arrested by the Marysville Police Department.
A local news station has confirmed that the clerk was Sikh, and not Muslim. The clerk reportedly survived the incident with a burn on his face, and injuries from the hot coffee.
The attack was met with condemnation from local Sikh and Muslim organisations, including the Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“We condemn this attack on an individual because of his faith,” Saad Sweilem, civil rights attorney for group, said in a statement.
Mr Sweilem continued: “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.”