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US: Californian Man Rammed Car Into Group Of Eight Pedestrians Thinking They Were Muslims

Thirteen-year-old girl suffers brain trauma after war veteran 'targeted people', authorities say

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LAHORE MIRROR (Monitoring Desk)– A Californian car-occupier intentionally rammed his vehicle into a group of eight pedestrians because he thought some of them were Muslims, local authorities have said.

Suspect Isaiah Joel Peoples, 34, faces eight counts of attempted murder for wounding eight people, including a 13-year-old girl, after he deliberately veered his car into the pedestrians.

According to the AP news agency, the teenage girl was the most seriously injured in the incident and is currently in a coma with severe brain trauma.

Three adults also remain in hospital with injuries that include broken limbs and fractures.

Jay Boyarsky, the chief assistant district attorney for Santa Clara, said the charges carry a sentence of life in prison and he will file hate crime allegations if warranted.

“There is very appalling and disturbing evidence that at least one or two of these victims were targeted based on the defendant’s view of what their race or religion may have been,” he said.

Phan Ngo, the chief of Sunnyvale’s Department of Public Safety, said that Peoples showed no remorse after his car hit the victims.

“He targeted the victims based on their race and his belief that they were of the Muslim Faith. We will be providing support to our diverse communities,” he wrote on Twitter.

“There is absolutely no tolerance for hate in our community”.

Witness Don Draper said when he marched over to Peoples’ car after he crashed, he found the driver muttering over and over, “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.”

His family told the AP that Peoples, an Iraq war veteran, experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq.

His lawyer, Chuck Smith, said that the crash was in no way deliberate, claiming it “was clearly the product of some mental disorder or mental defect.”

According to the FBI, hate crimes surged by at least 17 percent in the United States in 2017, with 7,175 documented hate crimes. At least 15 of those resulting in murders.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES