FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- What should've been a quick trip to a Fremont Taco Bell turned into a traumatizing experience for a longtime resident on the receiving end of an unprovoked verbal attack.
It happened at the Grimmer Boulevard location on the night of Sunday, Aug. 21. Krishnan Jayaraman was waiting to pick up his order, when another patron took aim.
"Walking around with your f*****g toes out. B***h, this ain't India," the man is recorded saying. "You f****d India up. You're f*****g America up."
The nearly 8.5 minute of video showed the man spewing anti-Hindu speech, directed at Jayaraman.
"'You're a Hindu who bathes in cow urine,'" Jayaraman recalled. "It was just vile."
Even after Jayaraman received his food order, he stayed inside the restaurant and recorded in silence. He said he was worried that if he walked to his car, the man would follow.
"Indian people are a joke. Look at this nasty s**t," the man told Jayaraman.
"I didn't see a point of me trying to engage somebody who's hell-bent on picking up a fight and wanting me to engage," he shared. "He was so close to my face. He was throwing his dollars on my face. He was spitting everywhere."
Even more shocking to Jayaraman, he recognized the way the man was pronouncing Hindi words and how he also spoke Punjabi.
In the last few minutes of the recorded attack, Jayaraman believes the man revealed what may have been his motivation.
"F**k Indira Gandhi, n****," the man is heard saying.
Jayaraman explained, "Toward the end of the video, he said the late Prime Minister's name and threw an f-bomb at it. And then I realized, oh my god, he may be Indian."
The behavior, Jayaraman said, aligns with an independence movement in northern India -- one that has created high tension across in North America.
"That group, the Khalistan group was deemed a terrorist organization in India," Jayaraman told ABC7 News.
The man is heard telling Jayaraman, "You were the ones, when the East India Company came, you were the ones to kneel first. Your people were the ones to put your head down, b****!"
"At that point, it dawned upon me that he may be somebody who has an ulterior motive to do all these things," Jayaraman said.
He said a Taco Bell supervisor made the call to police, though he shared some criticism about workers not stepping in to deescalate.
"So many of these employees were so busy, but they're in the front. They're seeing him abusing me," he said. "So I thought, at least they will ask him to leave the establishment. Which is probably what most franchises would do. I mean, I don't know what the policies of Taco Bell are."
ABC7 News reached out to Taco Bell, but as of this publication, have not heard back.
Jayaraman's video ended with Fremont police officers arriving.
The police chief later addressed the community on social media.
Police Chief Sean Washington wrote: "We take hate incidents and hate crimes seriously, and understand the significant impact they have on our community. These incidents are despicable. We are here to protect all community members, regardless of their gender, race, nationality, religion, and other differences. We would like to urge the community to be respectful of each other and to immediately report any circumstances such as this that, upon investigation may rise to the level of a crime. In the event of a hate crime, we will devote all available resources to follow up and investigate. Fremont is one of the nation's most diverse communities, and we are thankful for the contributions of community members from different cultures and backgrounds."
ABC7 News reached out to Fremont PD on Friday about any development on the case, but did not hear back.
In a Facebook post made by the department on Thursday, FPD acknowledged it was aware of the video, saying in part, "We are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. Because this is an active investigation, we will release information about the incident as soon as possible without compromising the investigation."
On Friday, Jayaraman explained that the Hindu religion teaches that the whole population is your brethren and everyone is equal.
"In that sense, even that gentleman is the same," he told ABC7 News. "I mean, he just had an off night probably."
The so-called "off night" was uploaded to YouTube and has now been seen by thousands.
Viewers include Jayaraman's 13-year-old son, who was at home on that Sunday night waiting for the food.
On Friday, Jayaraman arrived for our interview, sent with his teen's Taco Bell order.
"I don't want his vision of how he sees the world to change. I said, 'I'll go in there and pick it up,'" he said about his conversation with his son. "He said, 'This time, drive-thru.'"
Members of the Board of the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) told ABC7 News, their organization is a grassroots level advocacy and civil rights organization, dedicated to improving the understanding of Hinduism in North America.
They maintain this attack is part of a pattern of hidden Hinduphobia that was pointed out in a study recently published by Rutgers.
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