SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Investigators are looking into the possibility that an attack on a VTA driver near the Alum Rock Transit Center in San Jose on Tuesday was a hate crime.
The victim in this case is still in the hospital. He is a 36-year-old Sikh man who wears a turban and officials think his appearance or religion may have something to do with this unprovoked attack.READ MORE: Drought By The Numbers: Energy Release Component Is Already At Late September Levels
Sheriff’s deputies are keeping a close watch on the Alum Rock transit center parking lot after a VTA bus driver was attacked while on a walking break near the station on Tuesday.
A black-colored arrow was recovered, which was apparently slung from a bow at the driver.
“He was abruptly struck in the back with an arrow, a sharp object of an arrow and that arrow did pierce his skin when it hit him,” Deputy Russell Davis of the Santa Clara Co. Sheriff’s Office told KPIX 5.
The attack happened on Sierra Grande Way near South Capitol Avenue, two blocks from the transit center around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Deputies said the victim was walking with a fellow driver, and both men wore turbans, which investigators are factoring in as a possible motive for the attack.
“We’re using all the resources right now to see if this was actually a hate crime. We don’t have that information at this point. I will tell you this was a targeted attack,” Davis said.READ MORE: North Bay Homeowners Scramble to Prepare Properties for Long Fire Season
“I spoke to the operator, he’s doing well,” said John Courtney, President of the bus driver’s union, ATU Local 265.
“It could have been a lot worse than it was. It came very close to hitting his lungs, the arrow, into his back area. So he’s very thankful. Sounded like he was in OK spirits for what happened, and he’s hoping to make a full recovery,” Courtney said.
Other drivers did not want to comment to KPIX 5 on the attack, but the union said they often face verbal and physical assaults while on the job.
Investigators canvassed the area and are reviewing surveillance video.
And since the victim never saw who shot the arrow, they’re asking for the public’s help in solving the crime.
“This doesn’t happen often as we know, and we just want to make sure we can find information to catch these suspects,” Davis said.MORE NEWS: Rapping Senior Citizen Dancers Beat Back Asian Hate in San Francisco Chinatown
The Sheriff’s Advisory Board, the VTA and the ATU Local 265 are each offering $1,000 rewards for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.