A Sikh youth in B.C. has apologized for inventing a story of being set upon by a group of white men who cut his hair.
The 17-year-old from Richmond, a Vancouver suburb, admitted to police he made up the story.
Police had already been suspicious, because the attack, which had been alleged to have occurred in broad daylight on May 26, had generated no tips from the public.
“He had fabricated the entire incident,” RCMP Cpl. Peter Thiessen told reporters Saturday.
“The injuries that we observed on him that required medical attention were self-inflicted,” he said.
The youth had claimed the five men stopped their basketball game, pulled off his turban and cut his long hair with a utility knife. Hair is considered sacred by Sikhs.
But the youth merely wanted to cut his hair but was afraid to deal with his parents.
“ . . . His hair was hanging out, so it looked like he was attacked,” said Sheldon D’Cruz, a friend of the youth who came upon him minutes after the hoax.
Sikh leaders denounced the attack, but when the hoax was revealed, were largely silent.
Some Sikhs expressed annoyance with the youth, saying it cast their faith in a bad light.
In a statement released Friday night, the boy said he didn’t realize this incident would blow up the way it did: “My sincere apologies to my family, friends, the RCMP and overall community—whose feelings I have hurt in this whole ordeal. I have to work very hard to rebuild the trust I lost.”
Thiessen said the case is being reviewed to decide if a criminal charge should be laid against the youth.