Crime & Justice

Fresno police offer $1,000 award for info on hate crime targeting Sikh man

The Fresno Police Department is offering $1,000 to anyone who can share more details about a hate crime targeting a Sikh man over the weekend in Fresno.

“We’re trying to get that reward up to $2,000,” Sgt. Jaime Rios told KPCC on Tuesday. "The Sikh community may be offering more."

According to the Fresno Police Department, Amrik Singh Bal, 68, was waiting for a ride to work on Saturday when two men got out of their dark compact car and swore at him. They then assaulted him.

After beating him up, the two suspects got back into their car, made a U-turn and hit Bal with the front of their car, causing him to fall. Then, the car sped off. 

Sgt. Rios said the police were treating the incident as a hate crime because the suspects did not rob Bal or take anything from him. Bal was dressed in traditional East Indian attire and had a beard and was wearing a turban.

An earlier statement issued by Fresno police said that during the incident, one of the suspects asked Bal, “Why are you here?” But Sgt. Rios told KPCC Bal never heard these words.

Sgt. Rios told KPCC there are several incorrect details swirling around about the assault. The suspects did not back into Bal, as had been reported elsewhere, but rather made a U-turn and drove at him head on. The suspects were in a dark compact car not a truck, and the police do not have a $5,000 reward out for more information about the suspects, as was reported eariler. Rather, a $1,000 crime stoppers reward has been offered, Rios said.

Bal was treated at Community Regional Medical Center for abrasions to his nose and right hand and a broken collar bone and is currently at home resting.

Fresno police are working with the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to track down the suspects.

Anyone with information is asked to call 559-621-STOP.