A 55-year-old Setauket man has been accused of a hate crime after he allegedly ran over a Sikh man in Queens last month and called him a terrorist, according to reports.
The NYPD arrested Joseph Caleca Monday and charged him with attempted murder and assault, both as hate crimes.
Police said in a news release that Caleca was driving a GMC pick-up truck down a Queens street on July 30 and had to stop after the 29-year-old victim exited his parked car, preventing Caleca from passing.
The two men then became involved in an argument, which quickly escalated after Caleca allegedly struck the victim twice with his car. Police said Caleca allegedly ran the victim over with his pick-up truck and dragged him several feet before allegedly fleeing the scene.
Caleca allegedly called the victim: “You motherf—ing Bin Laden,” and added, “go back to your country!” according to the New York Post.
An NYPD spokesman said he could not confirm reports of the victim being called a terrorist.
The man was taken to Jamaica Hospital for abdominal and back injuries as well as several abrasions, police said.
He released a statement through the hospital, according to the Post, in which he said:
“I was attacked because I am a Sikh, and because I look like a Sikh. We need to create a world without hate.”