SEATTLE — On Dec. 14, a man was sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to attacking a taxi driver last year.
Swarn Singh, 53, is Sikh American and an immigrant from India. He submitted a victim impact statement to the King County Superior Court last week. In it, Singh urged his attacker to recognize the damage caused, detailing his injuries and the impact of the assault on the Sikh community.
On Dec. 16, 2017, Singh was parked outside an apartment building to drop off Rory Benson and his mother. Benson, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, grabbed the piece of cloth Singh kept in his taxi to wipe the windshield, and tried to suffocate him with it.
Singh immediately ran out of the taxi, and Benson grabbed a hammer from his bag, chased him down, and hit him in the head repeatedly— specifically targeting his turban and knocking it to the ground.
Singh suffered a scalp laceration and a skull fracture as a result of the attack.
The Sikh Coalition said it applauds Singh’s courage in standing up to hate. “We believe this crime was motivated by bias, and we are here for every Sikh who experiences bigotry and violence,” said attorney Giselle Klapper.
The Sikh Coalition provides free and confidential legal assistance to Sikhs who have been discriminated against because of their religious beliefs or identity. If you believe you or somebody you know has experienced bias, bigotry, or backlash, call (212) 655-3095.