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Jeffrey Allen Burgess, 54, has been charged with hate crime+ for assaulting an Indian-origin man and hurling racial slurs, mistaking him for a Muslim. Burgess of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, has been accused of intentionally harming a man named Ankur Mehta on November 22 because of his “per-ceived race, colour and national origin”.

A federal grand jury indicted Burgess of a hate crime charge+ in connection with the alleged assault at a Red Robin restaurant in South Hills Village, the Pittsburgh Tri-bune-Review reported.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and acting US Attorney Soo C Song for the Western District of Pennsylva-nia announced the indictment. At the time of the incident, police said, Burgess was sitting next to Mehta inside the Red Robin restau-rant when he began insulting him and then repeatedly elbowed him in the head.

“I don’t want you sitting next to me … you people,” Burgess was quoted as saying by witnesses in addition to his anti-Muslim ra-cial slurs, according to a criminal complaint filed by Bethel Park police.  Witnesses told police Burgess struck Mehta four or five times and called him a “(expletive) Muslim,” according to the complaint. Mehta was treat-ed at St Clair Hospital for a laceration to the upper lip and a loose tooth. Mehta is of Indi-an descent, police said.

In addition to the slurs, Burgess told Mehta “things are different now,” police said, which authorities believe was a reference to the election of Donald Trump. If convicted Burgess faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years of prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.