Fresno Sikh man who was beaten shares his story

May 18, 2013 12:52:31 AM PDT
The 81-year-old grandfather who was brutally attacked is now sharing his story. Police say Piara Singh was nearly beaten to death earlier this month.

Singh is still in a lot of pain. He's had to deal with some serious complications after what he and his family members are calling a hate crime. Now he's sharing his story to raise awareness about his faith and to stop any future violence against the Sikh community.

The attack using a metal pipe has left Singh with two dozen stitches on his head, a punctured lung and broken ribs. But, despite his pain he invited us to his family's home to talk about the day he nearly died. "He kept on hitting me, he kept on hitting me a lot, I have no count," said Singh.

Singh is a much respected person in the Indian community. He has a strong faith in Sikhism and displays that nearly every day. "I volunteer my time at the temple, it's my feelings from my heart," he said.

On Sunday May 5th he woke up at four in the morning to wash dishes at the temple. Later that morning he headed out the gate for his usual morning walk. That's when investigators say 29 year-old Gilbert Garcia assaulted him using a metal rod. "He did not say a single thing, I did not say anything," said Singh. He added, "I was losing conscious as he was hitting me. I did not say anything." I was drenched in blood; he started attacking me hitting me on the shoulders."

Police arrested Garcia soon after. He admitted to hating Sikhism and says he had plans to blow up local temples. Even through all his pain, Singh says his hope is to combat hatred with a message of peace. He said "You have good people and you have bad people, this person was not a good person when he attacked me but there are very wonderful people who are out there too."

Gilbert Garcia faces attempted murder and elder abuse charges. He has pled not guilty. So far he has not been charged with a hate crime. Garcia is expected back in court on May 28th.


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