Indian-American Sikh man beaten to death in New York road-rage attack
A Indian-American Sikh man, 66, was reportedly beaten to death in aroad-rage attack in Queens, New York, last week. Jasmer Singh's family is now seeking hate-crime charges against the alleged killer.
On Thursday, October 19, Singh was driving his wife from a doctor's appointment in Kew Gardens in the afternoon when he got into a fender-bender before the fatal encounter took place. 30-year-old Gilbert Augustin, the other driver involved in the incident, was arrested the next day. He has been hit with charges including manslaughter, assault and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, according to police.
A witness said that soon after Singh's Toyota collided with Augustin's Ford Mustang, a male voice said “no police.” As per a criminal complaint, the witness then saw a man approaching Singh's car and snatching a cell phone out of his hand.
Singh then reportedly stepped out of the car and followed Augustin, and after a brief argument, managed to grab his phone and walk back to his car.
Augustin then allegedly punched Singh in the head and face three times, and the victim fell to the ground. The court filing said that he suffered a brain injury, according to New York Post. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries the next day.
Singh's son, identified only as Multani, told WCBS that his father suffered a broken skull and was missing two front teeth after the attack. “The guy was addressing my father with his costumes, with his turbans,” Multani said. “There was no reason for someone to go in that intensity. My father was targeted and it is a possible hate crime.” Multani said his father was a “very noble person, a simple person.” Singh was reportedly planning to visit his native India with his wife.
Singh's wife was left with a “terrible impression” after the fight and is traumatised.
In a post on X, mayor Eric Adams expressed his condolences. “Jasmer Singh loved his city and deserved so much more than his tragic death. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I want our Sikh community to know you have more than our condolences. You have our sacred vow that we reject the hatred that took this innocent life and we will protect you,” he wrote.
Judge Danielle Hartman has ordered that Augustin be held without bail. He is expected to be back in Queens Criminal Court this week.