After 9/11 on September 15th, in Mesa, Arizona a Sikh man was killed by a "patriotic" American. Sikhs have nothing to do with Islam. The majority of Sikh's have been persecuted, with a price tag being put on the head of a Sikh man. Sikh by their faith wear a Turban which is distinct. Here is a tragic story:
Attack leaves man dying
Deputies cite reports by witnesses that racism, homophobia fueled lake melee.
By David Richie and Kim Minugh - Bee Staff Writers
Satendar Singh was known within his family as "the lucky one."
At age 19, he won a coveted spot in a visa lottery, enabling him to leave his native Fiji for the United States. He built a life for himself in Sacramento, living with his aunt and uncle and later his grandmother, and touched the lives of those around him.
On Tuesday, Singh lay on life support in the intensive care unit of Mercy San Juan Medical Center, the victim of a Sunday night assault at Lake Natoma -- a possible hate crime that witnesses believe was fueled by homophobia and racism.
"The doctors have declared there are no hopes," said Camie Bhuie, Singh's uncle.
Singh, who family and friends said is 26, was expected to be taken off life support late Tuesday night, pending a final test for brain activity.
On Tuesday, Sacramento County sheriff's homicide detectives assumed control of an investigation into the assault, which apparently stemmed from a daylong verbal dispute between two groups.
Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran said the incident was being investigated as an assault. If Singh dies, the charges likely will elevate to involuntary manslaughter rather than homicide because the crime did not appear to involve intent to kill, Curran said.
Michael Gross, superintendent for the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, which includes Lake Natoma, said early Tuesday that state parks officials were investigating the incident as a hate crime. After the case was turned over to the Sheriff's Department, Curran said his agency was not yet ready to apply that charge.
"If, through the course of the investigation, it is determined that the motivation was race or sexual preference, obviously hate crime charges will be added," Curran said.
He confirmed, however, that state parks investigators reported to sheriff's officials that racial and homophobic slurs had been used against Singh and his friends.
Singh had been with six people -- all of Indian or Fijian descent -- at the picnic area near Lake Natoma on Sunday afternoon when trouble began brewing with another group partying nearby, said two friends who were there that day.
The Bee is not identifying the friends because they fear retribution.
The two friends said the other group -- identified by the witnesses and sheriff's officials as being of Russian descent -- called Singh and his friends racial and homophobic names.
Friends said Singh is not gay, but they believe he was singled out because he did not have a date that afternoon.
When Singh and his friends tried to leave at about 8 p.m., they were confronted by the Russian group and a fight ensued, the witnesses said. Singh reportedly was punched once in the face. He fell, hit his head, and began bleeding profusely, the witnesses said.
Though initially knocked unconscious by the impact, Singh regained consciousness at the park but had difficulty breathing. His condition worsened, and he again lost consciousness that night. By Tuesday, he was not expected to survive.
No one else was injured in the fight.
Sheriff's investigators will reinterview witnesses to determine exactly what happened that day and hope further witnesses will come forward, Curran said. Anyone with information is asked to call investigators at (916) 874-5115.
In addition, officials are looking for two cars seen leaving the park after the fight: a dark green four-door sedan and a red Mitsubishi with a red Department of Motor Vehicles registration sticker affixed to the rear window with the number "7."
As Singh's loved ones mourned their impending loss Tuesday, a steady stream of visitors poured in and out of the intensive care waiting room at Mercy San Juan.
At one point, the room swelled with 100 of Singh's friends and family, his uncle said. Many cried, others smiled while sharing stories about Singh.
He worked at an AT&T call center in the Rosemont area, where many knew him as Simon. He had just earned a promotion.
He was respectful and virtuous, never any trouble for his grandmother, Chand Singh, while living with her.
"He had such an infectious personality," said his aunt, Suvin Bhuie. "He would walk in and the room would light up."