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Man Sentenced for Attacking Sikh Cabbie with Deadly Weapon

Swam Singh

SEATTLE, WA— A Seattle, Washington area man was sentenced to 15 months in prison on December 14th, after pleading guilty to brutally attacking an Indian American taxi driver who had dropped him home.

Exactly a year before the sentencing, Swarn Singh picked up Rory Benson and his mother to drive them to the apartment where they both reside. According to the Sikh Coalition, which advocated on behalf of Singh, as the passengers were being dropped off, Benson grabbed a piece of cloth Singh kept in his taxi to wipe the windshield and attempted to suffocate him with it.

Singh then ran out of the taxi, but Benson grabbed a hammer from his bag, and chased him on foot. When he caught up with Singh, he repeatedly hit him on the head with the hammer, causing him to suffer a scalp laceration and a skull fracture.

Singh was hospitalized and Benson was arrested.

Singh’s turban– an article of his Sikh faith– was knocked off his head during the attack. The Sikh Coalition in a statement said the incident was motivated by hate.

The victim thanked the Sikh Coalition in his court statement. The organization worked with Singh for 11 months to make sure the Bellevue Police Department and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office were properly investigating the incident and reviewing appropriate charges.

The Sikh Coalition has also developed a new Taxi Cab/Rideshare Know Your Rights Guide that is specifically designed to make sure that Sikh drivers are taking all of the necessary precautions when driving. It is available in English and Punjabi: copies can be obtained by emailing: [email protected]

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