Police in California are investigating after Surjit Malhi, a 50-year-old Sikh man, said he was attacked by two men who threw sand in his eyes and brutally beat him in the head, shoulders, and neck while he was out posting campaign signs for a Republican lawmaker.
Malhi told Sacramento’s CBS13 that he was beaten last week by the two men, who also yelled at him to “go back to [his] country” and spray-painted his truck with hate symbols, while he was posting campaign signs in support of Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) in Stanislaus County.
“It’s very scary you know,” he said, adding that he thought “they were going to shoot me.”
Malhi, who has raised thousands of dollars for charity and is an active supporter of the local Republican Party, told the station that his turban softened the blows, and may have saved his life.
“I’m American 100 percent, no doubt, so they say, go back to my country? This is my country,” he said. “If you are a real American and you love America, you should not do that. That is not the American way.”
Police are investigating as a hate crime.