Judge Ordered Attacker of Sikh to Learn About The Sikh Religion As a Part of Sentence
BY A STAFF WRITER
SALEM, OR- A judge on Friday ordered an Oregon man to learn about the Sikh religion and submit a report to the court as part of his sentence for an attack on a Sikh shopkeeper in Salem, a civil rights group said.
Andrew Ramsey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of intimidation and assault in the Jan. 14 incident targeting Harwinder Singh Dodd, the Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the U.S., said in a release.
The Intimidation count is considered a hate crime, it said.
Witnesses said Ramsey pulled on Dodd’s beard after he refused to sell him cigarettes without an ID, punched him and pulled him to the ground. Bystanders restrained Ramsey until police arrived.
Dodd, came to the U.S. from India and owns the convenience store.
Police said Ramsey also threw his shoe at Dodd and snatched his turban. Sikh men don’t cut their hair and cover it with a turban for religious reasons.
Marion County Judge Lindsay Partridge ordered Ramsey to attend the annual Sikh parade in June in Salem and report to the court what he learned about the Sikh community and culture. He also sentenced Ramsey to three years of probation and 180 days in jail, with credit for time served.
Partridge said mandatory drug, alcohol and mental health treatment was the best option for Ramsey, who has convictions for methamphetamine possession, domestic violence assault and theft.