February 20, 2015 (New York, NY) - Earlier this month a Queens County grand jury indicted Joseph Caleca on attempted murder and hate crime charges for the July 31, 2014 attack on Sandeep Singh in Queens, New York. Sandeep was severely injured when the assailant called him “Osama,” and then ran him over with his truck, dragging him 30 feet down a public street.
In the aftermath of the attack, the Sikh Coalition worked with Sandeep’s family to promote a community response that created public awareness of Sandeep’s case. We also communicated extensively with law enforcement officials to ensure that a comprehensive hate crime investigation occurred. After nearly a month of community activism, Joseph Caleca was arrested on attempted murder and hate crime charges in August 2014.
The indictment is a formal accusation that a person has committed a serious crime and represents substantial progress by the District Attorney’s office to prosecute this case to the fullest extent possible. Mr. Caleca is next due in court on April 22, 2015. If convicted, Caleca could spend up to 25 years in prison for his actions against Sandeep Singh.
“We are grateful for the District Attorney’s ongoing effort to see that this attack is prosecuted as a hate crime,” said the Sikh Coalition’s Executive Director, Sapreet Kaur. “It shows a real commitment to delivering justice to Sandeep Singh and his family, while sending the clear message that acts of hate against Sikhs or any minority community will not be tolerated.”
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges Sikhs everywhere to practice their faith fearlessly.