Within hours of the release of a video of a 71-year-old Sikh man being attacked while walking in his neighborhood, thousands of people expressed their outrage at the incident and vowed to help catch those responsible.
And by Wednesday morning, they did exactly that.
Thanks to the involvement of the public in helping scour social media accounts and online posts to identify those that were responsible, the Manteca Police Department were able to locate and arrest 18-year-old Tyrone McAllister and a 16-year-old male juvenile for the assault on Sahib Singh Natt while he was taking his daily walk around Greystone Park in Manteca on Monday morning.
Both McAllister and the juvenile – who is not being identified because of his age – were taken into custody and charged with felony counts of elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, and attempted robbery. McAllister will be transported to the San Joaquin County Jail while the juvenile will be transferred to the San Joaquin County Juvenile Justice Facility in French Camp.
“The public’s assistance in providing information with the case was instrumental in identifying the suspects and allowed my investigators to make a quick arrest,” Manteca Police Department Investigations Supervisor Wayne Miller said in a statement.
The investigation is continuing into whether the incident meets all of the legal elements for charging the suspects with a hate crime – a specific threshold that if met, further enhances the penalties for the crimes that were committed.
In the video of the altercation that was captured by the home security camera of a neighbor across the street from Graystone Park, McAllister – wearing the same black “True Religion” hooded sweatshirt that helped internet sleuths identify him on social media accounts – can be seen delivering the initial kick that knocked the elderly man to the ground and onto his back where he hit his head on the asphalt. After the man tried to get up from the ground, McAllister can be observed kicking something he was holding in his hands away from him, and after a brief moment where the 71-year-old grandfather tries to defend himself against his attackers, McAllister then appears to kick him a second time – knocking him to the ground again.
He then walks up to the man and appears to rip something off of his neck before walking away.
While it appeared that he was walking away as the man lay on the ground, McAllister then comes back into the frame and starts delivering kicks to the side of the man’s body before ultimately spitting on him and walking away.
The object taken during the assault, according to some community members that found a picture on what they say is McAllister’s social media profile, was a gold chain with a “khanda” – a Sikh religious symbol – that was displayed with a marijuana flower and a Clipper lighter.
McAllister was taken into custody in Modesto after family members notified police of his whereabouts. McAllister is the son of Union City Police Chief Darryl McAllister, who says that he has been estranged from his son for several months. The Union City Police Department assisted Manteca investigators in determining his location, according to media reports.
The father made a public statement through the Union City Police Department’s Facebook page announcing what had happened, and spoke openly of his son’s ongoing struggles with finding his way and detailing the difficultly in watching the situation unfold both as a parent and as a lifelong law enforcement officer.
“Words can barely describe how embarrassed, dejected, and hurt my wife, daughters, and I feel right now,” McAllister wrote. “Violence and hatred is not what we have taught our children; intolerance for others is not even in our vocabulary, let alone our values. Crime has never been an element of our household, our values, nor the character to which we hold ourselves.
“Despite having the desire any parent would have in wanting to protect their child, my oath is (and always will be) to the law and my vow of integrity guides me through this horrendous difficulty. My stomach has been churning from the moment I learned of this news. Even though my status as a law enforcement leader has no bearing or relation to the case whatsoever, I am nonetheless devastated by how much the nature of my son’s actions are such a departure from everything I have stood for in my personal life, and in my 37-year policing career.”
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.