Richmond attack prompts call for hate-crime investigation


The Sikh Coalition, a national civil rights organization, called Friday for a hate crime investigation into an unprovoked attack on a man in Richmond’s Hilltop neighborhood.

Maan Singh Khalsa, a 41-year-old father, IT specialist and caregiver for the elderly, was driving about 9 p.m. on Sept. 25 when he encountered the alleged assailants while stopped at a red light near Hilltop Mall Drive, about a half-mile from his home, according to a letter from The Sikh Coalition addressed to local police and prosecutors.

A man riding in a white Ford F-150 “threw a beer can at his car wholly unprovoked,” the letter said.

After Khalsa rolled down his window to question the action, the “five or six” white men in the vehicle cursed at him, the letter said. One exited the vehicle, prompting Khalsa to drive on and dial 911.

But at the next red light, the suspects rolled up again and three men exited their vehicle and attacked Khalsa through his window, “knocking off his Sikh turban and hitting his face repeatedly,” the letter said.

“His assailants shouted, ‘Cut his hair,’ pulled his head out of the window by his hair, and cut a fistful of his religiously-mandated hair with a knife,” the complaint said.

Khalsa drove off and was instructed by the 911 operator to wait for police by a gas station. He suffered cuts to his fingers and hands requiring stitches, a swollen black eye, teeth damage and “deep humiliation,” The Sikh Coalition statement said.

The letter indicates that two suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack.


  1. I think I can say the overwhelming majority of Richmond residents are shocked and disgusted by this violent act of hate, we support our Sikh neighbors.
    I am relieved somewhat to learn from tonight’s news that the two men arrested so far are from out of state and apparently not from Richmond. I hope the District Attorney files hate crime charges in this case.
    Best wishes to Mr Khalsa.

  2. Ignorance prevails! The more people learn about Sikhs, the more they revere them. Sikhs have always been wonderful neighbors and citizens in my experience. Years ago, Sikhs patrolled our neighborhood night and day because some (non Sikh) women had been assaulted and robbed, resulting in the capture of the mugger because of their vigilance. How many other groups in Richmond would go to that amount of effort to help everyone else?

  3. That’s a great story about patrolling their neighborhood and catching a mugger, I love it. I hope they catch the rest of these clowns who attacked Mr Khalsa and give them enough time in jail to carefully reconsider their twisted worldview.

  4. Sikhs are not Muslims. They were infact victims of mass genocide perpetrated by Muslim invaders from Central Asia and Middle East in their native India. Yet the amazing part is none of the Sikh organizations ever talks about them not being Muslims. This because they are mandated by their faith to protect the downtrodden and minorities. This is a case of a mistaken identity and pervasive hate unleashed by the vicious election campaign led by Mr.Trump.