Teenager arrested for attacks on murdered Sikh men in New York: cops

A teenager previously arrested for two hate crime attacks on Sikh men in Queens was stabbed to death in Brooklyn this week, cops said.

Vernon Douglas, 19 – arrested less than three months ago in connection with hate crimes – was stabbed in the chest on Rockaway Avenue near Lott Avenue in Brownsville just before 9 p.m. Thursday, police said.

Witnesses reported he was involved in an argument with another man before the fatal attack, police said.

He was rushed to Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

No arrests were made.

Douglas was arrested April 14 in connection with the April 3 unprovoked attack on Nirmal Singh, police said.

Singh was walking around 6:45 a.m. on 95th Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard in Richmond Hill when Douglas punched him in the nose, causing pain and bleeding, cops said.

The assailant didn’t say a word and fled after the assault, cops said.

Singh, who was wearing traditional Sikh attire at the time of the attack, was treated at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and released.

Vernon Douglas allegedly assaulted Sikh Nirmal Singh, 70, in Richmond Hill, Queens on April 3, 2022.

He had only been in the United States for two weeks on a visitor’s visa when he was attacked – and has since returned home to India, according to his family.

He was arrested the same day in connection with an April 12 case, cops said.

At the same junction, Douglas – along with 20-year-old Hezekiah Coleman – beat two men with wooden sticks, beat them, ripped off their turbans and stole money, cops said.

Douglas and Coleman have both been charged with robbery as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment based on race or religion, cops said.

Nirmal Singh was covered in blood after Vernon Douglas allegedly punched him in the nose.
Nirmal Singh was covered in blood after Vernon Douglas allegedly punched him in the nose.

The Queens DA office did not immediately comment on the circumstances of Douglas’ release, but online records show he had another court date scheduled for July 27 in the April 12 case. .

Thursday’s killing did not appear to be in retaliation or related to Douglas’ hate crime arrests, cops said.


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