This week in Bakersfield, California, a man accused of yelling racial slurs, threatening violence and throwing a drink at a Sikh man back in September has pleaded no contest to hate crime charges.
Man accused in Sikh hate crime takes plea deal
40-year-old David Hook was accused of attacking Balmeet Singh outside a restaurant on September 30. Hook approached Singh and began cursing and yelling racial slurs at him. He told Singh, "You're trying to blow up this country. I should... kill you right now," before throwing a cup of soda on him.
Singh shared about the incident in a video posted to YouTube in October:
Prosecutors say Hook targeted Singh, who wears a turban and unshorn beard in accordance with his faith, because of his race and religious appearance. Hook told police investigators he thought Singh was a Muslim. He claims he heard Singh, who was talking on a cell phone, "say something about a bomb."
Singh was on the phone wishing his 13-year-old cousin a happy birthday. Like it really mattered to Hook, who apparently believed that throwing a soft drink at a guy would somehow strike a blow against terrorism.
Hook was charged with misdemeanor battery and violating civil rights by force or threat of force -- technically, a hate crime. He pleaded no contest to both charges and was given three years probation.
Man accused of throwing drink at Sikh takes plea deal