Sacramento man sentenced for beating Sikh cab driver
SACRAMENTO, CA – A Sacramento man was sentenced to 13 years in prison for beating up a cab driver because he thought that he was Muslim.
Pedro Ramirez made a plea bargain with the prosecutor’s office to get 13 years instead of life in prison, which was possible if he was convicted at trial.
Ramirez, his wife and another couple got a ride home from a Sacramento club last November– and got into a dispute over payment with the cab driver.
The prosecution said Herbehjan Singh was savagely beaten because he wore a turban, which led the attackers to believe he was Muslim.
Ramirez’ wife doesn’t defend her husband’s actions, but said he was not motivated by the victim’s ethnicity or religion. Laura Sanchez said that’s a lot of time for, what she believes, was a simple fistfight.
“My husband, when we went out that night, we wish we could take it all back,” Sanchez said. “We went out for my birthday and we weren’t seeking out any kind of violence or any kind of fight and it wasn’t a hate crime and I just can’t believe it has turned into this.”
The prosecutor said there’s no way in the world to characterize the attack as a “fistfight.” The cab driver was struck at least 10 times, the prosecutor said, the whole time insisting he’s not Muslim.
Singh’s friend Amanpreet Kaur said Singh is driving again.
“He’s still having some memory problems and headaches, but he’s doing a lot better,” Kaur said. “He’s getting back to work.”
The other man who joined Ramirez in assaulting the cab driver was sentenced to a year in county jail because he was considered less culpable in the attack.
Original post: Sacramento man sentenced for beating Sikh cab driver