A 53-year-old man who was the victim of an alleged road rage incident and hate crime last week said Tuesday that he was attacked “because of my brown skin, turban and beard.”
Sikh American Inderjit Singh Mukker, a cab driver and father of two, spoke about the attack just hours after the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office announced that a teen boy had been charged with a hate crime in the incident.
Mukker said he was driving to the grocery store last Tuesday when a driver began yelling racial slurs at him. Police said there was a road rage incident and the two pulled off to the side of the road at 69th and Cass Avenue in Darien.
Mukker said the driver got out of his vehicle, walked over to his car and started punching him in the face.
“He called me Bin Laden, he told me to go back to my country,” he said.
The teen, who was arrested last week, was charged Tuesday with a hate crime, and had earlier been charged with aggravated battery in the incident. He is also accused of punching a police officer in the face as he was being arrested.
"Crimes based on hatred or prejudices have no place in our society," DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said in a statement.
The teen is not being identified as he is a juvenile and information on an attorney for the teen was not immediately available.
Mukker’s family said they were shocked when they heard what had happened.
“I was seriously in shock,” said his son Kanwar Mukker. “I was filled with anger as anyone would be to see that your dad was beat up because of bigotry.”