Teen faces hate crime charge after punching another 13-year-old in face: police

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A 13-year-old Sikh boy was punched in the face by another teen at a Long Island mall in what cops are calling a hate crime, authorities said Friday.

The teen was at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on May 29 when he was attacked, Suffolk County police said.

“He just hits me in the face,” the victim, Chaz Bedi, told ABC 7 News.

An unidentified young teen, also 13, now faces a second degree aggravated harassment charge, which is a hate crime under New York State law, police said. He was arrested Thursday night and will be arraigned in Suffolk County Family Court.

Bedi, who lives in Syosset, was at the mall with a friend when, he said, they were taunted by a group of teenagers.

One of the group referred to him as “Muhammad,” then another told him, “‘I’m going to knock that ball off your head,’” he told ABC 7.

Moments later, one of the teens punched him in the face, the teen explained. He was not physically injured in the attack, but he and his friend hid from the group in Macy’s.

Security kicked the group of teens out of the mall, Bedi said. He then went home and told his father about the assault, who immediately took his son back to the Walt Whitman Shop to report it.

That’s when Bedi learned the teens told security he and his friend threatened to blow up the mall.

“You’re going to stereotype them and say like now we’re terrorists?” Bedi’s father, Satbir Singh, told ABC 7 News.