FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The suspect who seriously injured a Sikh man in a hate crime will go to trial on assault charges. A judge handed down the decision late Tuesday afternoon.
Daniel Wilson, 22, will face charges for assault with the intention of causing great bodily injury on a 68-year-old Sikh man.
Wilson's close friend Nicolas Ramirez testified he was shocked to hear Wilson and 17-year-old Alexis Mendoza were accused of the vicious hate crime.
"He said he wasn't a part of it. I didn't believe he was a part if it," said Ramirez.
Wilson is now the only suspect facing charges for the hate crime. Mendoza, his co-defendant, committed suicide last month. Officers believe he was the driver in the crime.
In court on Tuesday, Ramirez testified that Mendoza admitted to running over 68-year-old Amrik Singh Bal.
"Alex was like, bragging about the whole situation."
The entire crime was captured on home video surveillance.
Fresno police call the incident a hate crime, saying the suspects targeted Bal because he was wearing a turban. The elderly man was walking from his home to go pick grapes in the fields one early morning last December when he was attacked.
"The heavy set male punched him several times in the head, and during that altercation a skinnier male then stepped in and punched him several times in the head," said Det. Haywood Irving, Fresno Police Department.
Testimony Tuesday also included a witness who claims Wilson referred to Bal as ISIS. Officers said after the suspects punched Bal, they got in their car to hurt him again.
"The suspect vehicle clipped him in the northbound lanes going southbound on Brunswick, causing Mr. Bal to fall and hit his head," said Irving.
If convicted on all the charges, Wilson faces up to eight years in prison.