Sikh Temple Vandalized in Buena Park
Temple officials believe they were the target of a possible hate crime.
Officials for a Sikh temple in Buena Park believe their building was targeted in a possible hate crime on Wednesday after vandals spray painted the area.
Jaspreet Singh showed NBC4 spray paint, also known as tagging, on an parking lot wall near the temple and nearby tractor trailer possibly connected to a gang.
On the trailer, an expletive could be seen in spray paint followed by the word "ISIS."
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Singh fears the turbans and beards Sikhs wear are being confused for followers of Islam, a completely separate religion.
Singh said its the first attack on the temple in 30 years. He also believes the vandalism could be some type of backlash related to the San Bernardino mass shootings.
"In this kind of tragedy, I would suggest all Americans come closer and protect each other rather than splitting and hating each othe," he said.
The Orange County Human Relations Commission has received a dozen complaints of possible hate crimes since the San Bernardino mass shooting
"Like after 9/11, there's this reaction that happens and people are striking out over their fear, striking out because of that anger and doing what I call a blunt instrument ," said Executive Director Rusty Kennedy.
Kennedy said some of the attacks he has chronicled have been aimed at the wrong targets, a case of mistaken identity.
Temple officials plan to increase their own security.
Police officials said they want to speak with the driver of the truck, a Sikh temple member, who is currently out of state.
Capt. Bret Carter of the Buena Park Police Department said police would investigate the case further.
Police said the spray painting would also be reviewed by gang investigators to determine if it was gang related.