Patel needed stitches on his mouth and forehead after being assaulted allegedly by Nyle Kilgore in North Brunswick last week.
A report in CBS New York said the police had taken Kilgore, 24, into custody and charged him with bias intimidation and aggravated assault. He is now out on bail. The report quoted the police as saying that the attacker targeted Mr Patel because he is Indian, and there have been many such attacks in the area.
“My dad is a very fragile, innocent man who was just on his daily walk,” said Mr Patel’s son Dipen.”What went through your mind to see him and actually want to cause him pain?”
The attacker allegedly followed Mr Patel for less than a minute before knocking him down with a blow to the head.
Dipen questioned the bail granted to Kilgore, saying, “I don’t understand how you can have someone who is continuously committing hate crimes, violent hate crimes, and he’s able to get out the same night.”
Mr Patel said he’s afraid to step out of home and many in the local Indian community feel equally worried. He and his wife moved to the US from the UK in May, but say they are contemplating moving back.
New York and New Jersey have a sizeable Indian-origin population. The Indian-American community has in recent times been the target of robberies, particularly after the Diwali festival when many families have cash and gold jewelry at home.
Earlier this year, a US grand jury indicted an Alabama police officer who was caught on camera slamming an elderly Indian man to the ground.
On February 6, Sureshbhai Patel, 57, was thrown with such force that he was partially paralysed. He had just moved from India to help his son’s family care for a young child, and could not communicate with the cops as he knew very little English.