Pittsburgh police arrested an intoxicated man who allegedly attacked an Indian man after he mistook the latter for being Muslim.
The victim of the assault, identified as Ankur Mehta, was reportedly busy working on his tablet computer at the bar inside Red Robin Restaurant in the South Hills Village mall when he was assaulted by 54-year-old Jeffrey Burgess, according to WTAE-TV.
The man, who was seated next to him prior to the attack, told Mehta “things are different now” and “I don’t want you sitting next to me — you people.”
He continued his tirade with more slurs calling Mehta a “sand n****r” and a “f*cking Muslim.”
Witnesses claimed that Mehta had not been paying attention to his attacker as he had been wearing earbuds while Burgess unloads the verbal attacks.
Burgess then hit Mehta several times in the face with his elbow and fist.
The suspect, who was found to be intoxicated, was later charged with public drunkenness, harassment, ethnic intimidation, and minor assault.
While Mehta is not an actual Muslim, the local head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations considered the incident an attack against Muslims, counting it among the surge of attacks committed recently against Muslims and other minorities since Donald Trump’s victory on November 8th.
“Our political leaders need to speak out against such breakdowns in social order, apparently inspired by reckless rhetoric during the election cycle,” council president Safdar Khwaja was quoted as saying.