MARYSVILLE -- Employees at a 7-Eleven in Marysville say the clerk who was attacked is still traumatized.
They say the man responsible was a regular and they're shocked he would harm one of their co-workers.
“Those guys who work at the 7-Eleven are sweethearts,” said Malia Lomanic.
Lomanic lives next door to the 7-Eleven. She knows most of the employees there by name.
“They’re super nice dudes,” she said.
But Wednesday just before 2 a.m.
Marysville police were called out after one of those employees was assaulted on the job.
Police say a homeless man, identified as 43-year-old John Crain, tried to walk out of the store without paying for the cup of coffee he had just poured.
The clerk told police he confronted Crain who threw the hot coffee in his face, then punched him before leaving the store.
Police later located Crain who admitted to the assault telling police he, “hated Muslims.”
Employees at the store say the victim in his early 20’s is not Muslim, but a member of the Sikh community.
“The Sikhs are American, we’ve been working hard here for over 100 years,” said Amar Shergill, a board member of the American Sikh Public Affairs Association. “A hate crime against a Sikh is the same as hate crime against members of the Jewish or LGBTQ communities.”
The council on American Islamic Relations issued a statement Friday night, in response to the assault saying:
"This hate crime represents yet another attack on our Sikh brothers and sisters fueled by islamophobia and those emboldened by this administration’s xenophobic policies and sentiments."
Crain is being charged with a hate crime but Lomanic is hoping this latest attack doesn't happen again.
“It makes me mad,” she said.
Crain is being held at the Yuba County jail where he faces theft, assault and hate crime charges.