The Sikh community in Union City, California, demanded to know on Tuesday night how Police Chief Darryl McAllister would ensure their safety after a video went viral showing the brutal beating of a 71-year-old Sikh man in Manteca, a city 60 miles away.
Hours later, McAllister received a call from the a call from Manteca Police Department that identified one of the two suspects in the video as his 18-year-old son, Tyrone, who now faces serious felony charges.
“Words can barely describe how embarrassed, dejected, and hurt my wife, daughters, and I feel right now,” McAllister wrote in a post on Facebook on Wednesday night. “My stomach has been churning from the moment I learned this news.”
McAllister said that his son Tyrone had been estranged from the family for several months, since he got out of prison for a theft-related crime. “My son began to lose his way a couple years ago, while he was a juvenile, running away and getting involved in a bad crowd,” McAllister wrote.
“Despite having the desire any parent would have in wanting to protect their child, my oath is (and always will be) to the law,” McAllister wrote, “I am nonetheless devastated by how much the nature of my son’s actions are such a departure from everything I have stood for my in personal life, and in my 37-year policing career.”
Anger over the video has been mounting throughout since Tuesday when the news broke, and the victim’s family have been his family calling for a hate crime investigation.
The incident took place at 6 a.m. Monday morning, in Manteca, a city in California’s Central Valley, as the 71-year-old Sikh man, Sahib Singh Natt, was taking an early morning stroll near a park. Surveillance video shows two hooded men walking toward him and blocking his path, in what authorities identified as an attempt to rob him. When Natt tries to cross the road, they follow him closely and block his path again.
After what appears to be a brief verbal exchange, the hooded men start kicking Natt and knock him to the ground. When Natt gets up, one of the suspects kicks him in the stomach and again, knocks him to the ground.
The suspects stroll off, and then one of them returns, to kick Natt three more times, before spitting on him.
Natt was taken to hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and then released.
Chief McAllister said that he and his wife cooperated with Manteca Police Department to help them track down and arrest their son.
“If convicted, he stands to spend a considerable amount of time in prison,” McAllister wrote. “It's difficult for us to comprehend how one of three kids who grew up with the same parents, under the same roof, with the same rules and same values and character could wander so far astray.”
The attack on Natt was the second incident to rattle California’s large Central Valley Sikh community in less than a week. Only days earlier in Keyes, just 20 miles from Manteca, two men beat up another Sikh man, told him to “go back to your country,” and spray-painted a neo-Nazi symbol on his truck.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson told the Modesto Bee that they are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Cover image: Screenshot from surveillance video