Two men were arrested Thursday for allegedly beating a local taxi driver in what appears to be a racially-motivated crime, police said.
Detectives found and arrested the two suspects, Jacob Billingsley, a 27-year-old Alamo resident, and Michael Goldstein, a 33-year-old Danville resident, at Goldstein's home.
Lt. Mike Elerick said the victim, Jaswinder Bangar, received about 10 stitches to his lip and a broken tooth after the suspects were said to have repeatedly kicked and punched him.
Bangar reportedly picked up the two white males at 12:55 a.m. from Redcoats British Pub and Restaurant on St. Mary Street and was taking them to Danville.
Det. Larry Cox said the suspects allegedly called Bangar derogatory names, including "Taliban" and "terrorist," and punched him in the back of the head. He also said that the case will be reviewed by the District Attorney to determine if it is deemed hate crime.
Bangar then reportedly pulled into the 7-Eleven parking lot on Valley Avenue to call police on his cell phone when police said the suspects took the phone and broke it. The victim then exited the car where police said the suspects followed and continued punching and kicking the man before the two ran away on northbound on Valley Avenue.
The two men were booked at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and face charges of battery and obstructing a phone call to police.
Elerick said it's not unusual for intoxicated people to get into arguments with taxi drivers, but that he didn't recall an injury like this taking place in the recent past.