The day after the stabbing of a Santa Clara grandfather left South Bay Sikhs reeling, prosecutors are weighing hate crime and attempted murder charges against his neighbor, who apparently believed the man belonged to the Taliban.
Iqbal Singh, 40, was waiting in his carport with his 2-year-old granddaughter around 10:50 a.m. Sunday when the suspect approached him and stabbed him in the neck with a steak knife, Santa Clara police Sgt. Kurt Clarke said.
Singh was still in the hospital Monday with serious injuries. The girl was unhurt.
"It's terrifying," his brother-in-law, Gurmeet Singh, said. 'Here he is standing outside of his home, and he is attacked."
That the stabbing might have been driven by hate doesn't surprise Gurmeet Singh.
"We Sikhs are the most targeted for hate crimes," he said. "People see us, and they don't understand who we are. They associate us with terrorists."
Santa Clara police arrested Everett Thompson, 20, of Santa Clara, later Sunday, Clarke said. He was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and a hate crime, Clarke said.
Investigators are trying to determine why Thompson allegedly attacked Singh.
There are indications that Thompson, who may suffer from mental illness, believed Singh was a member of the Taliban, officials said Monday. Singh is not.