Clip from home security film of car about to strike Bal (on right)
FRESNO – A 22-year-old and 17-year-old were arrested on Tuesday on charges that they beat and ran over a 68-year-old Sikh man in December.
The investigation into the incident by Fresno Police Department and the FBI led to the arrest of Daniel Wilson Jr., 22, and an unidentified teenager. Investigators recommended they be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy and a hate crime.
The incident happened around 6:30 a.m. on December 26 on Shields Avenue between Blythe and Brawley Avenues in Fresno. Victim Amrik Singh Bal was waiting for a ride to work when a black Dodge Challenger stopped near him. The 17-year-old driver and Wilson got out of the vehicle and began to hit Bal with their fists, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.
“I have no doubt in my mind that they intentionally struck him. They left him in the middle of the street, where he lie motionless for six minutes,” the chief said.
The suspects then got back into the car and Bal tried to run away, Dyer said, but the car began to accelerate toward him. When Bal tried to avoid the car, the teenager veered into Bal, knocking him into the air and then slamming him onto pavement, the chief said.
During the investigation of the crime, the FBI was able to track electronic devices in order to place the two suspects at the scene, Dyer said.
The chief added that comments made by the suspects after the fact led them to believe “it was a hate crime.”
Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said that her office will review the evidence to determine what specific charges will be filed. She said the teenager may be charged as an adult.
“This arrest shows that this behavior – racist, bigoted, hateful attacks – will not be tolerated in Fresno,” Smittcamp said.