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At Least 14 Indian Women Wearing Saree Attacked by US Man Charged for 'Anti-Hindu' Hate Crime Spree

By: News Desk

Edited By: Revathi Hariharan

News18.com

Last Updated: October 06, 2022, 11:19 IST

California

Police in Santa Clara along with US Marshals arrested the suspect, identified as 37-year-old Lathan Johnson of East Palo Alto. (Photo released by Police Department)

Police in Santa Clara along with US Marshals arrested the suspect, identified as 37-year-old Lathan Johnson of East Palo Alto. (Photo released by Police Department)

Prosecutors confirmed that the robberies were mostly reported in communities around the South Bay - including Milpitas, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.

A California man was charged for a spate of hate crimes against Indian women after he allegedly attacked over a dozen women around California. According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the accused reportedly targeted at least 14 older Hindu women of Indian descent during a two-month crime spree that began in June, reports ABC News.

According to officials, the suspect is said to have targeted Indian women wearing traditional attire and jewellery. He reportedly pulled their wrists and tried to snatch their jewellery. In one incident, the suspect even beat up the woman’s husband during his robbery spree, reports CBS.

Prosecutors confirmed that the robberies were mostly reported in communities around the South Bay - including Milpitas, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale. Nearly all of the victims were reportedly wearing a sari, bindi or other types of ethnic attire when they were attacked by the accused.

The victims who were targeted ranged between 50-73 years and the prosecutors estimated that the suspect stole necklaces worth at least $35,000.

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Police in Santa Clara along with US Marshals arrested the suspect, identified as 37-year-old Lathan Johnson of East Palo Alto, according to local media reports.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen confirmed the attacks in a statement and said, “I say to our South Asian community that anyone who targets and attacks you will be arrested and treated with the utmost severity under our law.”

The attacks were initially recorded as “anti-South Asian” and was re-categorized as “anti-Hindu hate crimes” by the District Attorney, according to the Hindu American Foundation.

Speaking to a TV channel, DA Rosen said, “Rips off their jewellery, drags them down the street breaks their writs, beats up their husband and terrorizing them is much worse than a property thief.”

The Hindu American Foundation condemned the incidents and a member said, “We are facing an uptick in hate crimes and online Hindu-phobia. Seeing that we’re making progress in prosecuting to the fullest sends a strong message."

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first published:October 06, 2022, 11:19 IST
last updated:October 06, 2022, 11:19 IST