The South Asian Times

16 December 2019 08:37 AM

Isaiah Peoples charged with hate crimes in Dhriti Narayan attack

Washington, DC: Isaiah Peoples has been charged with eight counts of attempted murder and two felony counts of hate crime for plowing down a group of pedestrians one of which Dhriti Narayan is on life support and fighting for her life.

On April 23, Peoples, an African American Iraq war veteran who suffers from PTSD, according to his attorney Chuck Smith, allegedly accelerated as he entered a crosswalk in Sunnyvale, Calif., plowing down a group of pedestrians. Eight people were injured in the incident, including Dhriti Narayan, a 7th grader at Sunnyvale Middle School who remains in critical condition; her father Rajesh Narayan; and her 9-year-old brother Prakhar. The family was walking home from the library.

The other injured victims are Marina Reimler, 32; Soeren Reimler, 33; Ping Lu, 51; Eric Nava, 24; and Miguel Balbuena Nava, 15. All were treated for various degrees of injuries but have since been released from the hospital. Sunnyvale police reported that Peoples deliberately crashed into the victims, believing they were Muslims. The San Jose Mercury News reported one witness heard the suspect say: “Thank you God,” as he made the attack.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office initially charged Peoples with eight felony counts of attempted murder. On May 31, it amended the charges to add two counts of felony hate crimes. Peoples appeared in court that day but did not enter a plea.

Peoples was a sergeant in the U.S. Army, served 11 months in Iraq, and had received several awards including a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He is currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation and has been prescribed medication for PTSD.

Update: 15 June, 2019