A Sikh man putting up campaign signs for California GOP candidates was beaten by two men who screamed “go back to your country” and spray-painted the invective on his truck, authorities said.
Police on Monday were on the hunt for the suspects in the July 31 hate crime against Surjit Malhi, 50.
In an interview with a CBS affiliate in Sacramento, Malhi said he had just finished putting up campaign signs in support of Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., and other party candidates outside Keyes, California, when he saw two young men waiting for him at his truck.
“As soon as I saw them they threw sand in my eyes – and I cleared my eyes and I saw them,” Malhi told the outlet.
He said he was beaten in the head, shoulder and neck, and the hooded, blue-eyed assailants screamed “go back to your country” during the attack.
“I’m American 100 percent, no doubt, so they say, go back to my country? This is my country,” Malhi said. “If you are a real American and you love America, you should not do that. That is not the American way.”
Coincidentally, Malhi said his turban softened the brutes’ blows.
“My turban saved me,” he told the news outlet.
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson told The Modesto Bee the assault is “a random despicable act” that is being investigated as a hate crime.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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