An American man has been accused of a hate crime for assaulting an Indian man & throwing racial slurs, confusing him for a Muslim.
Jeffrey Allen Burgess (54) of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, has been indicted of intentionally harming a man identified Ankur Mehta on November 22 because of his “perceived race, colour and national origin”.
A federal grand jury on Thursday accused Burgess of a hate crime charge in connection with the alleged attack at a Red Robin restaurant in South Hills Village, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review stated.
Assistant Attorney General, Tom Wheeler (Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division) & acting United States Attorney Soo C Song, Pennsylvania said the indictment.
At the point of the occurrence, police told, Burgess was sitting close to Mehta inside the Red Robin restaurant when he started abusing him & then frequently elbowed him in the head.
“I don’t want you sitting next to me … you people,” Burgess was quoted as saying by witnesses in addition to his anti-Muslim racial slurs, according to a criminal charge filed by Bethel Park police.
Witnesses told police Burgess struck Mehta 4 or 5 times & called him a “(expletive) Muslim,” according to the complaint.
Mehta was administered at St Clair Hospital for a laceration to the upper lip & a loose tooth. Mehta is of Indian descent, police told.
In joining to the slurs, Burgess said Mehta “things are different now,” police told, which authorities consider was a reference to the election of President Donald Trump.
If convicted Burgess faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.
Burgess meets state charges of ethnic intimidation, public drunkenness & simple assault arising from the same incident.
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