A Hindu priest was brutally attacked near a temple in the Floral Park area of Queens, New York reportedly in a suspected hate crime incident.
Swami Harish Chander Puri, a priest of the Shiv Shakti Peeth temple in Glen Oaks of Floral Park, was attacked by a 52-year-old man while he was walking down a street near the temple on Thursday.
Attacker came from behind, started hitting Puri repeatedly
The attacker reportedly came from behind and started hitting the Hindu priest repeatedly, reported PIX 11 news channel.
Puri was beaten badly following which he was rushed to a hospital. He had also suffered many bruises and abrasions all over the body parts, including his face, according to the channel.
"I'm in a little pain," Puri was quoted as saying by PIX 11.
Attacker identified as Sergio Gouveia; arrested by police
The 52-year-old attacker, who was identified as Sergio Gouveia, has been arrested by the police in connection with the attack. He has been reportedly charged with harassment, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.
PIX 11 also reported that the police are currently looking into whether the attack on the Hindu priest should be investigated as a hate crime.
'This is my neighborhood,' screamed the attacker
Meanwhile, some regular visitors of the Shiv Shakti Peeth temple believe that Gouveia targeted the Hindu priest. According to some of the visitors, the 52-year-old attacker screamed things like, "This is my neighborhood," while attacking Puri.
Attack comes after Trump targeted some Congresswomen on Twitter
The attack on Puri comes just days after US Donald Trump targeted four Democratic Congresswomen, including Minnesota's Ilhan Omar, a Somali-born US citizen. In a tweet, he asked the Congresswomen to "go back" to where they are from.
"Our Country is Free, Beautiful and Very Successful. If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!" Trump tweeted.
Sometimes people have no control: Puri
Speaking to PIX 11, one of the temple visitors said Puri was in his religious garb that made him noticeable due to which he was probably targeted. However, Puri, who is recovering, said he will pray for the attacker, adding, "Sometimes people have no control."