Fear gripped the community after an elderly man Rohit Patel was seriously injured in an alleged “bias attack” in broad daylight earlier this month in Brunswick town, reported Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper serving North and South Brunswick.
Patel, 57, was found lying on the road by a passing driver. He sustained serious injuries, including broken teeth, stitches on his mouth and forehead.
Nyle Kilgore, 24, of North Brunswick who assaulted Patel was later taken into custody.
According to Patel’s family, he was targeted because he was an Indian.
Middle sex County officials met residents at North Brunswick’s municipal building to discuss the aftermath of the incident.
“What has got us together is really a terrible biased crime. It is not acceptable anywhere in the world, but it is especially not acceptable here in our home. It’s a home for all of us. We are a community,” Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack was quoted as saying.
In a similar case in the past, Divyendu Sinha, 49, was attacked by a group of teenagers as he walked near his home along with his family members in 2010.
“If we firmly believe that we do not have tolerance for this type of bias, we need to spell it out, let those individuals who are intolerant get the message that diversity is the name of this town,” the paper quoted a resident as saying.
“If this is not their community, find another community so everyone can live in harmony,” he said.
According to councilwoman Shanti Narra, an Indian-origin criminal lawyer in New York City, the stereotypes that Indians are passive, they love gold and they keep jewelry in their homes may be the cause behind these attacks.
The New York and New Jersey areas have a huge population of Indian-origin people.