Long Island

13-Year-Old Arrested for Targeting Two Sikh Teens in Alleged Long Island Mall Assault

Members of the Sikh community on Long Island have been pushing for criminal charges after the two teenage boys said they were harassed and attacked for their religion

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A 13-year-old Long Island teen was arrested and charged with a hate crime offense for allegedly punching another teen and making bias comments, police said.

Yuvraj Bindra, 13, said he and his friend were at Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington on May 29 when another group of teens started verbally assaulting them, believing that the two are Muslims.

Bindra recalled one of the attackers saying, "Hey, Mohammed, come here. I'll knock that ball off your head."

That's when the confrontation allegedly turned physical. One of the teens punched his friend, Chaz Bedi, in the face while others recorded the incident on their phones. The teen who was punched didn't suffer serious injuries.

On Friday, police in Suffolk County announced the arrest of a 13-year-old on the charge of aggravated harassment as a hate crime. He was arrested late Thursday evening at the Second Precinct and will be arraigned at Suffolk County Family Court at a later date.

Chaz said the arrest brought him a sense a relief, after he said he "had no clue if these kids would be arrested or caught."

Chaz's father, Satbir Singh, said that the arrest highlights the importance of reporting hate crimes.

"Don't be scared of reporting a hate crime, because when you don't report a hate crime, you're actually feeding the hate," Singh said.

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