Pair acused in alleged hate crime on Sikh resident to stand trial

Image 1 of 2

RICHMOND (BCN) -- Two men accused of attacking a Sikh resident in Richmond were ordered to stand trial after a preliminary hearing that finished up this morning, a Contra Costa County deputy district attorney said.

Bail for Texas residents Chase Little and Colton Leblanc, who are accused of beating Maan Singh Khalsa and attacking him with a knife last Sept. 25, was increased to $250,000 in the hearing in Richmond, Deputy District Attorney Simon O'Connell said.

Both men were charged in October with assault and assault with a deadly weapon, with prosecutors adding the enhancements of a hate crime and infliction of great bodily injury. The co-defendants will return to court on May 18, O'Connell said.


During the attack, the men allegedly forced Khalsa's head down, knocked off his turban and cut his hair, according to the district attorney's office.

Khalsa testified in court Monday, O'Connell said. A man who was in a pickup truck with the defendants at the time, but didn't participate in the attack, also testified, among others, O'Connell said.

Little and Leblanc allegedly attacked Khalsa around 9 p.m. when he was stopped at a red light near the Hilltop Mall in Richmond on his way home from work.

The two were in the pickup truck along with three other people when it pulled up next to Khalsa and someone from the truck began throwing beer cans at Khalsa's car, according to the district attorney's office.

Khalsa called 911, but at the next stoplight, Leblanc and Little jumped out of the truck, ran to Khalsa's car, and began punching him through the open window. They knocked his turban off, grabbed him by the hair and, while yelling obscenities, cut his hair with a knife, according to prosecutors.

The attack left Khalsa with a battered and bruised face, several damaged teeth and a serious knife wound to his hand requiring amputation of his pinky finger, prosecutors said.