FRESNO, CA --A key piece of evidence helped Fresno police arrest two men they said beat a Sikh man and then hit him with a car. Officers said Amrik Singh Bal is doing much better now. The driver, was just 17-years-old.
Officers interviewed more than 50 people who live in the neighborhood where this happened. And they collected five separate videos from homes and businesses in the area. And one of them showed exactly what happened.
A neighbor's home surveillance camera captured part of the attack, as 68-year-old Singh Bal was intentionally hit, in what officers and FBI agents have determined was motivated by the victim's middle eastern appearance.
"Based on comments that were made by the suspects shortly after the incident occurred, that causes us to believe that this is in fact a hate crime," said Jerry Dyer, Fresno Police Chief.
The victim has physically recovered from head injuries, a broken collar bone, and bruised ribs. Shortly after the December attack the injured man told a local Sikh activist what happened.
"Because he carried a lunchbox with him, I remember him saying, Ike, I was just holding up my lunchbox trying to prevent the beating that was happening maliciously," said Ike Grewal, Sikh Community Activist.
Evidence collected during the past few months tied two young men to the exact intersection at the time the crime occurred. Both electronically tracked to Shields and Brunswick.
Tuesday morning the 17-year-old driver was arrested at his Northwest Fresno home and his 22-year-old passenger and accomplice, Daniel Wilson Jr., was arrested moments later at a Wendy's restaurant in Central Fresno.
Detectives do not believe the suspects knew the victim before stumbling upon him that chilly morning as he waited for a ride to work to prune grapes in the fields.
The Dodge Challenger the suspects were driving was also taken as evidence.
The suspects are facing several counts including assault with a deadly weapon, causing great bodily injury, and elder abuse with a hate crime enhancement.