In Fresno, a teen charged in the hate crime assault of an elderly Sikh man has committed suicide. The Fresno County Coroner's Office confirmed that 17-year-old Alexis Mendoza killed himself last week.
Teen Charged With Attacking Sikh Man Commits Suicide
Mendoza and another man, 22-year-old Daniel Coronel Wilson, were accused of beating and running over 68-year-old Amrik Singh Bal in vicious hate crime attack on the morning of December 26.
During the attack, one of the assailants reportedly asked him, "Why are you here?"
According to Fresno police, Mendoza and Wilson were driving when they spotted Bal, who was wearing a turban and traditional Sikh robes. Both men got out of the car and beat Bal with their fists, then got back into the car and intentionally ran him over. He suffered a broken collar bone and abrasions to his nose and right hand.
A security camera at a nearby home captured the suspects running over Bal.
Mendoza and Wilson were arrested last month in connection with the attack. Mendoza, who was being tried as an adult, pleaded not guilty in Fresno County Superior Court to charges of assault likely to produce great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon, a vehicle, and denied the hate crime allegation.
Mendoza was facing up to 13 years in prison if convicted.
According to the Fresno Bee, Mendoza killed himself at his home on April 19, four days after posting $115,000 bail. Fresno police declined to comment on the suicide.
The Sikh Coalition, which is representing Bal, called Mendoza's suicide "heartbreaking."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mendoza family as they grieve this tragic loss," The Sikh Coalition posted on the organization's Facebook page. "While there needed to be accountability for the violent actions taken in December, this development is truly heartbreaking."
Wilson, who is facing a felony assault charge, is out of jail on bail.
More here: Teen charged with hate crime on Fresno Sikh man commits suicide