Apr 29, 2020
On April 29, 2020, Lakhwant Singh (61) was brutally attacked at the store he owns with his wife in Lakewood, Colorado when Eric Breemen entered the store and began harassing the couple, the Sikh Coalition said.
The attacker, Eric Breeman (36), entered the store Mr. Singh owns with his wife, and began harassing them. He damaged numerous items in the store, shouted profanity and told the couple multiple times to "go back to your country." After repeatedly asking Breeman to leave, he finally did and Mr. Singh went outside to the parking lot to take a photo of Breeman's license plate in order to report the harassment.
Breemen drove his car toward Mr. Singh and ran him over with all four tires. Afterwards, Breeman went on a crime spree resulting in two additional assaults. At the time of the attacks, he was out on bond for other criminal offenses.
Mr. Singh suffered a broken left arm, broken ribs, internal bleeding, a possible clavicle fracture, spinal fracture and staples in his head because of the attack. He was only recently transferred to a rehabilitation facility after a month at the hospital.
Following his arrest, Breemen told police that he had attacked an “Arab” man. Breemen’s preliminary hearing date is scheduled for July 24 at which time charges will officially be brought, the civil-rights organisation said.
Breeman was arrested on April 30, 2020, After his arrest, Breemen told police that he had attacked an "older Arab" man.
On July 24 hearing, a hate crime charge against Eric Breemen were added against Eric will and will now be charged with multiple counts -- now including a bias-motivated crime -- in the violent assault case.
Mr Singh said he is very grateful to "everyone -- Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike" who stood with him and his family in this incredibly difficult time and appreciates the Jefferson County authorities for hearing his story and, "through these charges, recognising the role that hate played in my horrible attack".
“There is absolutely nothing to indicate that race played any role in this crime, so it was not a hate crime,” Pam Russell, spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, told indica. “Very often defendants and victims are different races.”
Asked if “go back to your country” was not racial, DA spokesperson Russell said: “Unfortunately, that kind of talk happens all too often, but that in itself is enough for us to be able to prove he was targeted/attacked for his race.”