Thug Who Beat Sikh Man to Death in NYC Road Rage Attack Is Seen in Court as He’s Charged With a Hate Crime and Manslaughter
Ishita Srivastava, Daily Mail, October 31, 2023
A thug who allegedly beat a Sikh man to death during in a New York City road rage attack is facing a series of new hate crime charges.
Gilbert Augustin got into a fender bender with Jasmer Singh who was driving his wife home from a doctor’s appointment in Kew Gardens, Queens, which prompted an argument breaking out between the pair.
A court filing revealed that as Singh returned to his Toyota, Augustin allegedly punched him three times in the head and face, which caused Singh to fall to the ground and suffer a brain injury.
Augustin was initially charged with manslaughter, assault and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle at the time of the arrest – but his charges have now been upgraded to include hate crime.
The new charges include ‘manslaughter in the first degree as a hate crime, manslaughter in the first degree, assault in the second degree as a hate crime and assault in the second degree’.
He is being held at Rikers Island prison and was seen in court for the first time today.
Queens District Attorney, Melinda Katz said: ‘This is a case of a fender bender immediately escalating to hateful language and then brutal, deadly violence.
‘We will show in court that it was a rage inflamed by hate that led to this senseless tragedy.
‘The defendant will have to answer to some very serious charges. I want to thank my office and the NYPD for thoroughly investigating this crime.’
At his arraignment today, Augustin was charged in a 20-count indictment.
According to officials, the 30-year-old had reportedly reached into Singh’s Toyota and ripped his cell phone out of his hand after they crashed.
Witnesses said they heard a male voice say ‘no police’ before the altercation began. They also heard Augustin repeatedly refer to Singh as ‘Turban man’.
Singh soon followed Augustin’s Ford Mustang before he argued with him and got his phone back.
As Singh went back to his car, it is alleged Augustin dealt three vicious blows to his head and face. Singh reportedly fell to the ground and suffered a fatal brain injury.
Augustin allegedly fled the scene after the deadly attack, while Singh was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where he died the next day.
His son, identified as Mr. Multani told WCBS that his father was left with a broken skull and two missing front teeth as a result of the attack.
‘The guy was addressing my father with his costumes, with his turbans. There was no reason for someone to go in that intensity. My father was targeted and it is a possible hate crime,’ Multani said.
He further said that Singh’s wife was left traumatized and with a ‘terrible impression’ after her husband’s life was taken.
Singh and his wife were preparing for an upcoming trip to India, where he was from.
Multani described his late father as an educated, ‘very noble person, a simple person.’
New York City Mayor Eric Adams shared his condolences in a post to X (formerly Twitter).
‘Jasmer Singh loved his city and deserved so much more than his tragic death. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I want our Sikh community to know you have more than our condolences.’
‘You have our sacred vow that we reject the hatred that took this innocent life and we will protect you,’ Adams said in his post.
Just before he posted that, the New York City Mayor also said: ‘Our team will be meeting with Sikh leaders this week to discuss the needs of this critical community in this challenging moment.’
Multani told the channel: ‘Consider the safety of Sikh community, please, that nobody would lose the father, brother, or son, like I did.’
Multiple funeral services, including traditional Sikh funeral services, were held for Singh.