Washington: A Sikh Uber driver in the US was racially abused and strangulated by a passenger, a media report said.
The incident took place in the coastal city of Bellingham, Washington on December 5 when the Sikh driver picked Grifin Levi Sayers, The American Bazaar reported on Monday citing The Bellingham Herald as saying in a report.
The same day, the Bellingham Police received a 911 call from the driver that he had been attacked by his passenger,
The police arrested and booked 22-year-old Sayers on suspicion of second-degree assault and a failure-to-appear warrant for fourth-degree assault. According to police records, he was released on $13,000 bail the next day.
The driver told the police that Sayers took the cab to make some purchases and then returned to the pick-up location. It was at this point that the passenger became abusive and grabbed the driver by his throat and squeezed it violently.
He also made racial comments about the driver’s ethnicity. The driver somehow managed to get out of the cab and made a 911 call. When the police arrived, they were able to locate Sayers nearby and arrested him.
Hate crimes against Sikhs in the US have always been on the radar for civil rights and minority groups, The American Bazaar said. A report released just last month identified Sikhs as the third-largest most targeted group in the country after Jews and Muslims.
Anti-Sikh hate crimes rose by a whopping 200 per cent since 2017, according to an FBI report.
Even as Sikh groups and minority organizations continue to make attempts to educate Americans on Sikhism and the tenets of its faith, Sikhs are often mistakenly targeted because of their turbans.