Former Walnut Creek Man Murdered in Apparent Hate Crime

KTVU, Fox TV/September 17, 2001

Walnut Creek -- A former Walnut Creek man has been slain in Arizona in an apparent hate crime connected to last week's terror attacks on the East Coast.

Balbir Singh Sodhi is a member of the Sikh religion who once drove taxis in the Bay Area. He was shot Saturday in the parking lot of his gas station in Mesa, Arizona.

His brother says Sodhi moved from Walnut Creek a year ago because he was afraid to drive his cab after a number of robberies and slayings. Police arrested Frank Roque of Mesa in connection with Sodhi's killing.

Since Tuesday's attacks, authorities across the country have reported a number of attacks and threats against Sikhs, many of whom are from India.

Sikhs say frequent pictures of the turban-clad Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden allow people to link the turbaned Sikhs to the terrorists.

One little boy at the Sikh temple in El Sobrante says his classmates blame him for the attacks. As he put it -- "They think the Indians did it. I just don't know what to answer them."

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