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Sikhs seek higher bail for Davis hate crime suspect

Washington, Mar 27, 2013 (PTI): 11:36 IST
The Sikh community in California has sought higher bail for the Davis hate crime suspect Clayton Daniel Garzon, who is accused of attacking and brutally beating a 32-year-old Sikh.

Garzon, 20, has been charged with felony counts of battery, assault and criminal threats in connection with the beating of Mikey Partida on March 10 in Davis, California.

He is alleged to have yelled homophobic slurs throughout the attack. The victim remains under medical care for skull fractures, multiple lacerations and brain hemorrhaging.

Balbir Singh Dhillon, president of the Sacramento Sikh Temple, yesterday submitted a letter to a Yolo County judge in support of the District Attorney's motion to increased bail for a hate crime to USD 500,000.

"This type of violence strikes directly at the fabric of our community. Hate crime statutes recognize the insidious nature of these crimes by punishing those that seek to place fear in the hearts of our community. We request that you protect the community's safety by setting bail at USD 500,000," Dhillon said in his letter.

Amar Shergill, attorney and American Sikh Political Action Committee board member, said that Garzon is already out on bail after a stabbing incident in Dixon when he engaged in the most recent brutal attack.

"He was hurling slurs at the victim before, during and even after the attack. Clearly, this is not the type of person that can be given the benefit of the doubt with a low bail amount," he said.

Calling Garzon "an extreme danger to the community", the Yolo County District Attorney's Office last week filed a motion to increase the bail for the suspect from USD 75,000 to USD 500,000 and to speed up his arraignment date.

"He is clearly a danger to our county, and therefore his bail should reflect that circumstance," Hamilton wrote in a declaration in support of the bail increase, according to the local Davis Enterprise.

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