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‘We are not going to take this as a community’
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Mayor Steve DeBrum speaks to gathering at Graystone Park Tuesday evening where a 71-year-old Sikh man was brutally beaten the previous morning - photo by GLENN KAHL

The savage beating of a 71-year-old Sikh gentleman out for an early morning walk drew 200 people Tuesday evening to Graystone Park where the attack took place seeking answers and pressing law enforcement to make arresting the responsible individuals a high priority.

The victim, Sahib Singh, is in the hospital. He suffered various injuries after he was repeatedly kicked. At one point his two attackers in the 6:04 a.m. incident that apparently started as a robbery attempt along the Turquoise Way side of Graystone Park walked away. One ran back 12 seconds later to kick Singh three times near the head. He then started to leave again, stopped after a few steps, turned around and leaned over to spit on Singh. Before leaving the area one of the two men described as being in their early 20s brandished a gun and waved it about.

Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum, Councilman Gary Singh, and Manteca Police Chief Jodi Estarziau were in attendance. A San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office representative was also seen in the crowd. The fact the case could have hate crime overtures has drawn the attention of that agency. Police are not rushing to any conclusion regarding whether it was more than a robbery gone bad so in the event the two men are caught they do not jeopardize chances for a successful prosecution.

 The park is located southeast of Louise Avenue and Union Road in a quiet residential neighborhood.

DeBrum and Estarziau both spoke to the gathering. Both made it clear finding the responsible parties and bringing them to justice is a Manteca Police Department priority. A Manteca police sergeant and a police captain were also in attendance hoping to learn information that might help with the case.

 Earlier at the City Council meeting DeBrum and the rest of the council stridently condemned the incident with the act being called “deplorable” by Councilman Mike Morowit and characterized by Councilman Singh as something that should not be tolerated in Manteca regardless of “race, creed, or color. . . . We are not going to take this as a community.”

“We as citizens of Manteca will not and cannot allow anyone to be harmed (in such a manner),” DeBrum said.

The mayor added that some citizens have already come forward with information that might help police.

DeBrum urged anyone else who could help secure justice to contact police at the non-emergency dispatch line at 456-8101.

“The smallest lead is all it could take,” the mayor noted.