Man Arrested and Charged with Hate Crime for Assaulting Sikh Teen Wearing Turban

In the United States, a 26-year-old man has been taken into custody and charged with a hate crime for attacking a Sikh teenager wearing a turban while on a New York bus, as reported by various media outlets.

On Thursday, police arrested Christopher Philippeaux, who had been released on parole in July 2021 after serving over two years in prison. He was charged with a hate crime following an incident that occurred on an MTA bus in New York City, near 118th Street and Liberty Avenue in Queens on October 15, according to CBS News.

According to law enforcement, Philippeaux approached a 19-year-old Sikh youth on the bus and made derogatory comments about the turban, saying, “We don’t wear that in this country.” He also insisted that the teenager remove his mask. Subsequently, the assailant physically assaulted the victim, causing cuts and pain by punching him in the face, back, and head.

The attacker also attempted to forcibly remove the turban from the teenager’s head before disembarking from the bus and fleeing along Liberty Avenue.

Records reveal that Philippeaux was released on parole in July 2021 after serving a prison sentence of more than two years for an attempted robbery conviction in Manhattan, as reported by the New York Daily News.

Philippeaux has had prior arrests, including a recent one for obstructing governmental administration in Brooklyn last month, according to the police. It seems that the details of this particular case have been sealed.

The Sikh teenager, in a statement on Wednesday, expressed being “shaken and angered” by the assault, emphasizing that no one should be subjected to harassment based on their appearance. Community activist Japneet Singh conveyed that the victim is currently traumatized, and the family is deeply concerned for his well-being. Although he declined medical treatment at the scene, the victim sustained injuries.

Shanifah Rieara, the MTA’s acting chief customer officer, also expressed outrage at the incident and stressed that New York City is a melting pot that welcomes people from all walks of life. She noted that the attacker had been in the city for approximately a year, and his actions did not reflect the values of the community.