Crime, Fire + Courts

Hate crime attack on cab driver nets 13-year prison term

By June 7, 2011

WOODLAND — A Yolo Superior Court judge has sentenced one of two men prosecuted for attacking a Sikh taxi driver in West Sacramento last fall to 13 years in state prison, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Pedro Ramirez, 42, of Natomas, pleaded no contest in March to a felony assault charge and admitted that the incident was a hate crime that caused great bodily injury to the victim, District Attorney Jeff Reisig said in a news release. 

His codefendant, 33-year-old Johnny Morales Jr. of West Sacramento, received felony probation.

Authorities say Morales played a lesser role in the Nov. 28, 2010, attack, during which the cab driver, Harbhajan Singh, was punched in the face and head while Ramirez reportedly shouted racial epithets and accused the victim of being Muslim.

Singh suffered multiple lacerations, a spinal fracture and a facial bone fracture in the attack, prosecutors said.

Lauren Keene

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