Taxi Driver Forgives Man for Hateful Attack

April 18, 2008


Source: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Forgiveness from the cab driver he attacked and called an "Iraqi terrorist" spared a young man from a longer jail sentence Friday, when members of Seattle's Sikh community spoke about the hatred they've endured since 9/11.

Luis Arturo Vazquez, a 21-year-old Kent man, was sentenced to nine months in work release and 240 hours of community service for his hateful words and drunken assault in November against Sukhvir Singh.

Men in brightly colored turbans crowded into King County Superior Court, asking for a sentence that sent a strong message but didn't ruin Vazquez's life.

"The Sikhs in this community have contributed a lot, and it's very hurtful when people attack us based on our looks," said Hardeep Singh Rekhi. "Hate is one of the most divisive and intolerable emotions that we can have."