An Indian American chef was attacked outside of his workplace in Omaha, Neb. in what authorities are classifying as an apparent hate crime.
Suthahar Subburaj, 30, a chef at Kurry Xpress in Omaha, told police he was attacked just before 11 p.m. on July 15 as he was taking out the trash, according to a report from the Omaha World-Herald.
A man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt punched Subburaj in the face and kicked him in the leg. He also told Subbraj, who said he was punched multiple times in his forehead, face and mouth, “ISIS (expletive), get out of my country,” according to a police report, which used an acronym for the Islamic State.
The man fled the scene as one of Subbraj’s coworkers called police.
“He knocked me out,” Subburaj told local news network, KETV. The bone above his teeth may have been fractured, according to the Herald’s report.
The chef has lived in Omaha for about two years but doesn’t have any family in the United States. He hopes his attacker is caught and punished, but is also educated about the differences in religions and races.
“His motivation and why he beat me, I don’t have an answer for that,” Subburaj said. He’s Hindu, he said, not Muslim.
Police deemed the attack a hate crime against religion. They have no leads on a suspect.
After getting word of the alleged hate crime, the Anti-Defamation League Omaha chapter issued a statement condemning the attack.
“When a person is targeted for a crime because of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability, it not only harms the individual victim, but also deeply affects entire communities, chapter director Mary-Beth Muskin said. “We must all stand together against bigotry, hatred and prejudice. We urge law enforcement to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime, and hope that the perpetrator will be apprehended swiftly and brought to justice.”