Saturday, May 3, 2008

Man charged with hate crime in taxi driver beating


A Renton man accused of using a racial slur while beating up a cab driver and stealing his wallet was charged Friday with first-degree robbery and malicious harassment, a hate crime.

Police say Tejinder S. Dhaliwal, 31, attacked driver Elias Ussuf on April 29 in Tukwila, beating the man so badly he was left unconscious.

Dhaliwal began yelling and swearing, using a derogatory racial term, when Ussuf told Dhaliwal he could not smoke in his cab, according to court documents.

Both men ended up outside the car, where police say Dhaliwal attacked Ussuf, punching him, pounding his face into the pavement, then stole his wallet.

King County prosecutors said Ussuf showed signs of a serious head injury.

Dhaliwal is set to answer to the charges Monday at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

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