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Jamaica man charged in fatal beating of Sikh man during road rage incident in Richmond Hill: NYPD

Oct. 23, 2023 By Bill Parry

A Jamaica man was arrested Oct. 20 and charged in the killing of a Sikh man during a road rage incident on the Van Wyck Expressway in Richmond Hill a day earlier.

Gilbert Augustin, 30, of 111th Avenue, was taken into custody and booked at the 102nd Precinct on manslaughter and assault charges and other crimes for allegedly attacking 66-year-old Jasmer Singh, of 121st Street in South Richmond Hill, according to the NYPD.

Singh was driving his wife home from a medical appointment just after noon on Thursday, Oct. 19, when he was involved in a collision with Augustin in front of 87-34 Van Wyck Expressway in Richmond Hill. The two men argued by the side of the road and it escalated into violence when Augustin allegedly began punching Singh several times in his head. Singh fell to the roadway striking his head on the pavement as Augustin drove away in a Ford Mustang, according to the NYPD.

Police from the 102nd Precinct in Richmond Hill responded to a 911 call of a vehicle collision and they found Singh on the roadway unconscious and unresponsive. EMS responded to the scene and rushed Singh to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition before he succumbed to his injuries the following morning, police said.

Augustin was taken into custody hours later and charged with manslaughter, assault, driving without a license and leaving the scene of an accident.

Singh’s death devastated the Sikh American community of Richmond Hill just days after 19-year-old Mani Sandhu was attacked on board an MTA A train shuttle bus shuttle bus by a Manhattan man on his way to a Sikh temple on the morning of Oct. 12.

“I represent Richmond Hill, the ‘Sikh Capital of the USA.’ In our community, Sikhs, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Jews live together in harmony, often on the same block,” Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar said. “When a crime occurs against any of us, it is a crime against all of us, and we come together in solidarity.”
Christopher Philippeaux, 26, of Park Avenue in East Harlem, was arraigned on Oct. 20 in Queens Criminal Court and charged with assault in the third degree as a hate crime and aggravated harassment in the second degree for the bias attack on Sandhu.

“Sikhs are our protectors. Their faith preaches seva, meaning ‘selfless service.’ Their religion teaches that there is divinity in everyone of every faith and that there is an obligation to protect the welfare of all humanity,” Rajkumar said. “Every single day. Sikhs serve free meals to anyone who asks, the practice of langar. Their daily prayers include the saying, ‘Blessings for everyone.’ Every practitioner of this beautiful faith deserves our unyielding respect.”

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