Police said the man accused of attacking a cab driver Saturday had been told to leave a football game because he was intoxicated prior to getting in the victim’s cab.
Luis Vazquez, 20, was kicked out of the Apple Cup game at Seattle’s Husky Stadium because police said he was so drunk that he was a danger to other fans. Although the man was under legal drinking age, a Seattle police officer never cited Vazquez and instead ordered a cab driver, 48-year-old Sukhvir Singh, to drive him home, Singh said.
As the cab was leaving the University District, Singh was bitten, punched, kicked, and had his hair pulled out by his passenger, who repeatedly called him an Iraqi terrorist, Singh said.
His passenger is also accused of tearing the turban off of Singh’s head while Singh was on Interstate 5 driving Vasquez to his home in Kent.
Singh said he is Indian, not Iraqi, and that his Sikh faith requires him to wear a turban.
Singh’s attorney, Hardeep Singh Reckhi, said that even after his client got out of his cab in the middle of I-5 to escape the attack, he never fought back.
Singh's attorney said local Sikh children often suffer in silence as targets of hate.
“They are harassed, called ‘Osama’ and there’s even been incidents of eggs being thrown at students, so these kinds of things occur here,” said Reckhi.
On Wednesday, the local Sikh community said they are inviting everyone to stand together in a rally against hate....
Singh is currently in the Valley General Hospital in Renton. His attorney said Singh is experiencing chest pain from being hit there and having kidney issues which he believes are related to the attack.
Seattle police said they are trying to determine which of their officers decided to put the drunken man in the cab instead of arresting him. [Link]
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