Back in May, Gilbert Garcia attacked an elderly Sikh man named Piara Singh with a metal rod outside a Gurdwara in Fresno, California. Piara Singh, 82 years old, was hospitalized due to the injuries he sustained that included severe head injuries and collapsed lung. He was discharged home where he is recovering from his injuries.
The attack was quickly deemed a hate crime based on statements made by Garcia after the attack. On Monday, after a third medical evaluation, it was announced that the Fresno County Superior Court has determined that Garcia is mentally incompetent to stand trial:
Friends and family were shocked and upset after a third court-appointed doctor found Garcia unfit for trial. Many were hoping Garcia would be brought to justice for committing what they believe to be a blatant hate crime, after two previous doctors were split on whether he’s stable enough to precede with the case.
“It’s a sad day,” said [community member Paul Sihota]. “Hopefully there’s another go around where it can be determined and he can be tried for the crime he did.”
Evidently, the state of Garcia’s mental health has been open to question, and while many would like to see an attacker face justice and incur consequences for his actions, one wonders about the value in incarcerating a man of questionable mental health. Rather than seek satisfaction from a punitive consequence, perhaps a more compassionate avenue of justice would be one to help this man overcome his mental issues to become a more integrated and contributing member of society.
Read more at KFSN-TV.