Sikh community concerned over vehicular assault
by Chase Collum
Aug 27, 2014 | 2265 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gurdip Singh Narula stands with Assemblyman David Weprin (right).
Gurdip Singh Narula stands with Assemblyman David Weprin (right).
Assemblyman David Weprin gathered with concerned members of the Sikh community outside his Atlantic Avenue office on Friday to draw attention to the July 30th vehicular assault on Sandeep Singh and to call for a maximum penalty for his assailant.

On August 18, police arrested 55-year-old Joseph Caleca of Long Island in connection with the case. Police say he became enraged when Singh exited a parked car, blocking his path on 99th Street, and bumped him with his vehicle. He then accelerated after calling him racial slurs.

Weprin lauded the NYPD for swiftly apprehending Caleca, as well as for charging him with attempted murder and assault, both as hate crimes.

“It is important that we all stand together against hate crimes so that we can embrace what makes this borough so beautiful,” Weprin said. “My thoughts and prayers go out to Sandeep Singh and his family during this difficult time.”

Singh’s brother, Navindeep, said he hopes the district attorney will pursue the maximum allowable penalty against his brother’s attacker.

“We were shocked that this happened in the Richmond Hill population,” Navindeep said. “I’m very thankful to politicians and the detective who was handling the case.”

Navindeep also said that his brother is recovering, if slowly, from the attack.

“His recovery is taking a little time,” he said. “He has 52 stitches in his back.”

Gurdev Singh Kang, president of the Sikh Cultural Society in Richmond Hill, said he hopes this event will shed light on the discrimination faced by the Sikh community in the United States.

“All the people in the whole world are coming to New York City, why are they discriminating against the Sikhs?” Kang asked. “We believe we are all victims of this attack. We are seeking more protection.”

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