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Kent man is sentenced for attack on cab driver

Sukhvir Singh, right, is greeted by well-wishers Saturday while taking part in a Sikh holiday parade on Talbot Road South in Renton. - Matt Brashears/Renton Reporter
Sukhvir Singh, right, is greeted by well-wishers Saturday while taking part in a Sikh holiday parade on Talbot Road South in Renton.
— image credit: Matt Brashears/Renton Reporter

A Kent cab driver injured in a hate-crime attack last year is continuing on the path to recovery.

“He has resumed work, but he doesn’t drive at night – he’s still anxious about it,” said attorney Hardeep Rekhi, of his client, Sukhvir Singh. “He’s still looking over his shoulder.”

Singh, a follower of the Sikh faith, was injured Nov. 24 in an attack along Interstate 5, as he was transporting an intoxicated customer to Kent from Seattle. Kent resident Luis A. Vazquez assaulted the cab driver, striking him with his hands, biting off a piece of his scalp and accusing him of being a terrorist.

Singh wound up stopping the cab along the highway and fleeing the vehicle, pursued by Vazquez, who knocked him to the ground. The attack ended when Vazquez attempted to board a Metro bus that had stopped as a result of the highway altercation.

A major milestone in the case unfolded Friday in Seattle Superior Court, when Vazquez, 21, received a sentence of nine months of work release and 240 hours of community service for the charges.

Vazquez, who last month pleaded guilty to malicious harassment (the state’s hate-crime law), second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, apologized to Singh at Friday’s sentencing, expressing remorse for his actions.

Singh was in the audience to hear him. Singh asked the judge for leniency for his attacker.

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