KEYES (CBS13) – A well-known member of the Stanislaus County community was brutally beaten while placing campaign signs, and police are investigating it as a hate crime.

It was Tuesday night in Keyes and 50-year-old Surjit Malhi had just placed his last sign at the corner of Foote and Keyes when he came upon two men waiting for him as returned to his truck.

“As soon as I saw them they threw sand in my eyes,” Malhi said.

RELATED: Hate Crimes On The Rise In California, Report Says

And that was just the beginning of the attack. The two men proceeded to beat Malhi in the head, shoulders and neck.

“And I cleared my eyes and I saw them,” Malhi said.

Blue eyes peeking through black hoodies is what he saw. And as the beating continued his attackers shouted, “Go back to your country!”

The same message, along with hate symbols such as the white supremacist version of the Celtic Cross, were spray painted on his truck. The version painted on the side of his truck has the cross mostly wrapped in a circle. It’s featured in the logo for Stormfront, a prominent white supremacist site.

c8ea1eb3a4e64c819249783f31ae5578 2 Sikh Man Attacked, Told To Go Back To Your Country In Stanislaus County

Malhi feared for his life.

“It’s very scary you know. They were going to shoot me,” Malhi said thought.

Ironically, Malhi says, it was his turban that softened the blows – the very symbol that may have sparked the hate.

“My turban saved me,” Malhi said.

RELATED: New Ad Campaign Turns Spotlight On Sikhs

Malhi has been active in the Turlock community for years, raising thousands for homeless and fire victims, using trucks from his trucking company to deliver supplies.  He’s a strong supporter of the Republican Party. The campaign signs he placed that night were for Congressman Jeff Denham and other members of the Stanislaus County GOP.

“I’m American 100 percent, no doubt, so they say, go back to my country? This is my country,” Malhi said. “If you are a real American and you love America, you should not do that. That is not the American way.”

Malhi still has headaches and dizzy spells, but says he’s received an outpouring of support from political leaders and members of the community during his recovery.

He says he won’t let the beating get him down and he will continue to place campaign signs and support the GOP. Police are still looking for the two suspects.

Comments (17)
  1. Well said. That’s NOT the American way.

  2. David Short says:

    Democrats DO NOT tell people to “go back to their country”. The gentleman was beaten by the Right wing of his own party. He should wake up and smell the roses.

    1. they dont? they call candace owens a white supremacist

  3. Kevin Brent says:

    Demonazis are out and about.

  4. No wonder California Democrats keep the populace unarmed; they want to intimidate at will, just like the KKK. The KKK was an instrument of Southern Democrats, created to intimidate Blacks and other minorities.

  5. Yep, it’s not the “American” Way, but it’s certainly the Leftist Way.
    They are destroyers and perverters of all that is good and right.

  6. They teach hate and racism now with their race privilege indoctrination. You see it consistently in Universities as racism, antisemitism, etc. soars. It’s no surprise the NY Times has hired one.

  7. Sikhs (3HO) saved my life. They are attacked because they are loving and peaceful.

  8. I wonder if his attackers knew what he had been doing prior to this despicable attack. I hope they did if only because I hate the thought that people so ugly and vile should be on my team. You are my kind of guy Mr. Mahli.

  9. calilion says:

    My Sikh friends here in Cali are almost all republican. This community needs our support, and Antifa needs to be put in their place. Jail in those cities that enforce the law, or the hospital.

  10. Jim Harr says:

    I’m not making any judgments until there are arrests. Most of these things turn out to be hoaxes.

  11. I’m feeling a fake hate crime… a Hoax. Do we know for sure?

  12. No mention of this hate crime on the PM Western Edition of CBS Evening News, wonder why? If some nut fashions a piece of rope into a hangman’s noose, ties it to a tree its national news. Maybe President Trump is correct about the news media and its omission of facts , lies and lack of reporting on stories they don’t like.

  13. ru14me2c says:

    Nowhere in this article does it mention that he was placing CONSERVATIVE signs, and he was attacked by the Fascist Antifa goons for doing so ….

  14. ru14me2c says:

    Sorry I missed the Republican mention … please disregard my previous comment.

  15. if you are a good, hard working productive member of society, the Left hates you and may attack. conservatives are law abiding, and that means they would never do a cowardly attack like this. conservatives do not vandalize property, or start fights. Only a leftist nazi punk would do something like this.

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