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'Embarrassed, Dejected and Hurt': California Police Chief Responds to Son's Alleged Attack on Sikh Man

The Union City police chief's teenage son was arrested Wednesday in connection with a brutal attack on a 71-year-old Sikh man in Manteca, and detectives are trying to determine if the attack was a hate crime.

By Lauren Hernandez

The Union City police chief's teenage son was arrested Wednesday in connection with a brutal attack on a 71-year-old Sikh man in Manteca, and detectives are trying to determine if the attack was a hate crime.

Surveillance footage from a nearby home released by the Manteca Police Department allegedly shows Tyrone Keith McAllister, 18, the son of Union City Police Chief Darryl McAllister, and a 16-year-old boy confronting Sahbit Singh Natt, who was taking his daily walk Monday morning along Greystone Park on Turquoise Way.

Footage shows two people walk up to Natt at around 6 a.m. when one of the individuals, wearing a dark hoodie and jeans, suddenly kicks him to the ground, police said. The attacker, identified by police as Tyrone McAllister, and another assailant then walk out of frame, leaving Natt writhing in pain on the ground. The video then shows the suspect idenfied as Tyrone McAllister charging back and delivering at least three kicks to Natt's head and upper body before yelling something inaudible and fleeing the scene.

One of the two suspects also might have waved a gun in the air, police said.

"The Sikh community is a tight-knit community and after the assault, the victim went to the community leaders and they brought him to the Police Department," said Sgt. Stephen Schluer, a Manteca police spokesman.

Natt spoke to detectives with the help of an interpreter, Schluer said, and he told police that his assailants "asked him for some type of money" before he was attacked. He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and released. On Tuesday night, he attended a rally condemning the attack at the park where he was assaulted just the day before, along with members of the Sikh community.

Manteca detectives are investigating the assault as an attempted robbery while also trying to determine whether the attack meets the legal requirements to be considered a hate crime. In order to be considered a hate crime, Schluer said, the criminal act is committed when a suspect harms or threatens to harm someone based on their disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

In a statement, Chief McAllister said he helped identify his son as the primary aggressor from surveillance footage, and Manteca police also credited the arrest to tips provided by the Sikh community.

Chief McAllister said he was "devastated" over the allegations that his son, who apparently has been estranged from the family  was involved in the violent attack. The chief expressed "deep concern for the victim and the victim's family.

He shared a personal message on the Union City Police Department Facebook page, where he said he and his family are "embarrassed, dejected, and hurt" that his son is a suspect in the "horrific" attack.

"Violence and hatred is not what we have taught our children; intolerance for others is not even in our vocabulary, let alone our values," Chief McAllister wrote. "Crime has never been an element of our household, our values, nor the character to which we hold ourselves... My stomach has been churning from the moment I learned this news."

Tyrone McAllister was booked into San Joaquin County Jail on one count of attempted robbery, one count of elder abuse and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

The minor was sent to the San Joaquin County Juvenile Detention Center on one count of attempted robbery, elder abuse and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

One of Manteca's most recent hate crimes, Schluer said, was a 2014 incident in which hateful messages were written on the only mosque within city limits and strips of raw bacon were left on the property grounds.

(c)2018 the San Francisco Chronicle

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.
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