A man in California has been charged with a religiously-motivated hate crime after he allegedly attacked a Sikh cashier in a convenience store because he “hates Muslims”.
The man was allegedly seen on CCTV footage punching the employee, and throwing hot coffee on him after he tried to leave without paying for the beverage.
The man, who police identified as John Crain, was arrested by the Marysville Police Department.
The Sacramento Bee reported that Mr Crain admitted to the offence, and reportedly told police that he hates Muslims.
A local news channel has confirmed that the store cashier was Sikh, and not Muslim.
The victim recovered from the attack without suffering any burns on his face from the hot coffee.
The incident was condemned by the Sacramento Valley’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Saad Sweilem, CAIR’s civil rights attorney for group, said in a statement: “We condemn this attack on an individual because of his faith.
“This hate crime represents yet another attack on our Sikh brothers and sisters fuelled by Islamophobia and those emboldened by this administration’s xenophobic policies and sentiments.
“We welcome the hate crime charges and encourage law enforcement to continue to take these clear incidents of bias seriously.”