New York Man Arrested For Hate Attack on Sandeep Singh

2014-08-20_-Sandeep-SinghQUEENS, NEW YORK—A Setauket man who yelled “anti-Muslim” remarks at Sandeep Singh before running him over with his pickup truck in Queens is facing hate crime charges, authorities said Tuesday.

Joseph Caleca, 55, was arraigned Tuesday night on second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault charges as hate crimes and ordered held without bail.

Authorities said the attack occurred shortly after midnight on July 30 as Sandeep Singh, 29, of Valley Stream was getting out of his parked car in Ozone Park.

Singh was blocking Caleca’s way on 99th Street near 101st Street, prompting Caleca to yell at Singh and his three friends, police said.

Caleca shouted “Osama” and “Go back to your country,” according to Queens prosecutors.

After parking his pickup and confronting the group, Caleca returned to his truck and drove head-on into Singh. After bumping Singh, prosecutors said, Caleca accelerated, running over the victim.

Singh, caught in the pickup’s undercarriage, was dragged for several feet before his body became dislodged, authorities said. Caleca then allegedly sped away.

Sandeep Singh in critical condition after the attack.
Sandeep Singh in critical condition after the attack.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Singh had to undergo surgery to stem internal bleeding.

Brown called Caleca’s insults “vile” and said the man faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Caleca was also charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident. He did not enter a plea Tuesday, and his attorney could not be reached for comment afterward. He is due back in court Sept. 10.

According to the criminal complaint, Caleca admitted to police that he ran the victim over but denied that it was racially motivated.



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