Sikh Man Attacked while Hanging Campaign Signs in Stanislaus County

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TURLOCK -- A man says he was attacked by two men Tuesday night while putting up campaign signs in Keyes.

The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Surjit Singh Malhi says he was putting up the final sign of the night at the corner of Keyes and Foote road when the men jumped him, hit him on the head and spray painted "Go back to your country" and a common white supremacist symbol on his truck.

Malhi is Sikh.

"I put my arm down there and somebody right behind the sign, I didn't see them," Malhi said. "Then I see some sand coming. They threw sand in my eye ... It was so quick."

Malhi said he was struck several times by two people he describes as white men in black hoodies.

The attack left Malhi scared and confused, but says he won't let when he calls bad apples stop him from continuing to give to the community he has lived in since 1992.

"It's made me more stronger because I feel like someone is trying to stop me from what I’m doing, you know? So I’m not going to stop. It’s making me more stronger," Malhi told FOX40.

Malhi says community support has made him strong, as well. On Sunday, around 50 people from his local CrossFit gym helped him clean his truck and around his home. He says candidates like Jeff Denham have reached out to make sure he is OK.

While he is still sore, he says all of it has made him feel more American than ever before.

"They are standing for me, you know? So I really appreciate that," Malhi said. "God bless these people, they are so close to me."

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