KEYES (CBS13) – A well-known member of the Stanislaus County community was brutally beaten while placing campaign signs, and police are investigating it as a hate crime.
It was Tuesday night in Keyes and 50-year-old Surjit Malhi had just placed his last sign at the corner of Foote and Keyes when he came upon two men waiting for him as returned to his truck.
“As soon as I saw them they threw sand in my eyes,” Malhi said.
And that was just the beginning of the attack. The two men proceeded to beat Malhi in the head, shoulders and neck.
“And I cleared my eyes and I saw them,” Malhi said.
Blue eyes peeking through black hoodies is what he saw. And as the beating continued his attackers shouted, “Go back to your country!”
The same message, along with hate symbols, were spray painted on his truck. Malhi, the entire time, fearing for his life.
“It’s very scary you know. They were going to shoot me,” Malhi said thought.
Ironically, Malhi says, it was his turban that softened the blows – the very symbol that may have sparked the hate.
“My turban saved me,” Malhi said.