The resort employee in Brooklyn attacked with a hammer after a person unintentionally entered the foyer
BROWNSVILLE, Brooklyn (WABC) – A Queens man was attacked with a hammer while working.
Police say the incident took place at a Brooklyn hotel when a belligerent man happened to walk into the lobby.
The victim, Sumit Ahluwalia, is from India and is of Sikh religious belief. He only came to the United States three years ago with his young family.
“Obviously America is the best country everyone dreams of,” says Ahluwalia.
A mechanical engineer by profession, he is now Operations Manager at the Quality Inn in Brownsville. He was working hard as he did every day when a man walked loudly into the lobby on the phone on Monday morning. When the front desk asked him if he needed help, they headed south.
“He got angry – he spat at us through the reception window,” said Ahluwalia.
The man left the hotel and Ahluwalia went outside and called security.
“When he saw me, he ran towards me,” said Ahluwalia. “He put his hand in his pocket – I thought he was pulling out a gun. I got scared and went in.”
The surveillance video shows what happened inside.
“I said ‘Hey brother, what happened?'” Ahluwalia said.
Ahluwalia said the man said, “You are not my brother, you are not the same skin.”
“Then he pulled out the hammer and hit my head and said, ‘I don’t like you,'” Ahluwalia added.
Fortunately, Ahluwalia was wearing his religious turban, but the attack, while not labeled a hate crime, is causing an uproar in the South Asian community and local activists like Japneet Singh are campaigning for inclusion and a better understanding of the Sikh religion.
“This is more than just color and style, it is pride, it is hope,” said Singh.
“This is the first time we’ve seen this – this is one of the hardest hit communities after 9/11,” said Jenifer Rajkumar, member of the congregation.
Ahluwalia is back to work – but it’s not the same.
“In the last four days that I have been going there, I fear that someone will come from behind and hit my head. I have a fear in my head from that day on,” he said.
Police do not call the attack a hate crime, but it is still under extensive investigation.
No arrests were made.
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