NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in North Brunswick, New Jersey say there has been a recent string of bias attacks against men of Indian descent.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, Rohit Patel has broken teeth and stitches, wounds impossible to miss. But his pain is more than skin deep.
The 57-year-old man said it hurts to talk after he was beaten over the head by a stranger.
Police said the attacker targeted Patel because he is Indian.
“My dad is a very fragile, innocent man who was just on his daily walk,” said Dipen Patel. “What went through your mind to see him and actually want to cause him pain?”
Patel’s son took Sanchez back to the sidewalk on Hartland Commons, where his father was jumped on Wednesday afternoon.
“He realizes there’s a car that’s stopped, keeps walking, and he realizes someone gets out of the car,” Dipen said.
Patel said that someone followed him for less than a minute before knocking him out with a blow to the head.
Police arrested Patel’s alleged attacker and identified him as 24-year-old Nyle Kilgore, who also lives in North Brunswick.
Police believe he may be responsible for several attacks on men of Indian decent in the area, and now Kilgore is free on bail.
“I don’t know. I don’t understand how you can have someone who is continuously committing hate crimes, violent hate crimes, and he’s able to get out the same night,” said Dipen.
With his alleged attacker out on bail, Patel said he’s afraid to leave home and so are many in the local Indian community.
The Patels find irony in the Independence Day weekend, while fear makes them prisoners in their own home, Sanchez reported.
“Once he’s in jail, we can feel a bit more freedom,” said Dipen said.
Patel and his wife just moved to New Jersey from the United Kingdom in May. And now, they may be moving back.
Police believe there may be more victims.
CBS2 tried to reach out to Kilgore, but were unable to reach him at his last known address.