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New Jersey(PTI): An elderly Indian-American man was attacked and left bleeding on the road in a New Jersey neighbourhood in an apparent bias crime by an assailant who has been taken into custody.
Rohit Patel, 57, sustained serious injuries including broken teeth, stitches on his mouth and forehead when he was knocked down and beaten over the head by Nyle Kilgore in North Brunswick last week.
A report in CBSNew York said police had taken Kilgore, 24, into custody, charged him with bias intimidation and aggravated assault and is now out on bail.
The report cited police as saying that the attacker targeted Patel because he is Indian and there have been a recent string of bias attacks against men of Indian descent in the New Jersey area.
“My dad is a very fragile, innocent man who was just on his daily walk,” said Dipen Patel in the CBS report.
“What went through your mind to see him and actually want to cause him pain?” Patel said his father was walking in the neighbourhood when he saw someone getting out of the car that had stopped nearby.
The attacker, identified as Kilgore, followed Patel for less than a minute before knocking him out with a blow to the head.
Patel’s son questioned the bail granted to Kilgore, saying, “I don’t understand how you can have someone who is continuously committing hate crimes, violent hate crimes, and he’s able to get out the same night.”
With his alleged attacker out on bail, Patel said he’s afraid to leave home and so are many in the local Indian community.
Patel and his wife had just moved to New Jersey from the United Kingdom in May and are now contemplating moving back.
The New York and New Jersey areas have a huge population of Indian-origin people.
In the recent past, the Indian-American community has been the target of a spate of robberies, particularly during the days following Diwali when the families have cash and gold jewellery at home.