American Turban

Attacker of WA Sikh cab driver pleads guilty to hate crime

Jamie Larson was indicted for a federal hate crime charge after his October attack of a Sikh taxi driver. (source: KOMO News)

Jamie Larson was indicted for a federal hate crime charge after his October attack of a Sikh taxi driver. (source: KOMO News)

Last October, Jamie W. Larson severely assaulted a Sikh cab driver for whom he was a passenger near Seattle, Washington:

Jamie W. Larson attacked the cab driver during an Oct. 17 ride after commenting on the man’s turban.  According to charging documents, Larson, 48, tore out chunks of the man’s beard during the assault, which also loosened one of the driver’s teeth.

During the attack, Larson issued various epithets and made derogatory comments about the victim’s ethnicity. As a result, was indicted by a grand jury last April to face a federal hate crime charge:

The indictment alleges that on Oct. 17, 2012, the subject assaulted the victim, based upon the victim’s actual and perceived race, color and national origin, which included Middle Eastern and Arab descent.

Yesterday, the US Department of Justice announced that Larson has plead guilty to a violation of the Shepard-Byrd Act , the anti-hate crime law passed in 2009 that carries a sentence of up to ten years in prison:

“Acts of hate, such as this one, hurt not only the victim, but tear at our social fabric.  They cannot be tolerated in our community,” said U.S. Attorney for the Western Distrcict of Washington Jenny A. Durkan.  “The Shepard-Byrd Act is an important tool for holding defendants accountable.”

Larson reportedly has previous criminal history, including “19 bookings since 1986, along with 34 warrants. Past charges include disorderly conduct, assault, DUI, attempting to elude police, domestic violence assault, malicious mischief and marijuana possession.”

The victim suffered significant injury from Larson’s assault, including “damage to his back, shoulder and kidney. He was hospitalized for more than a week and has undergone lengthy physical therapy.”

Larson’s sentencing is to occur on November 5.

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  1. Pingback: Not all of us are Trayvon Martin | American Turban

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