Arrest made in attack on Columbia professor

Police have arrested a man in connection to the alleged hate attack on a Sikh professor in Harlem last year, an NYPD spokeswoman said.

A tip led to the arrest late Friday of Christian Morales, 20, who now faces a hate crime charge of felony aggravated harassment. According to the NYPD, Morales “stated he was at the incident, and he admitted to pulling the complainant’s beard.”

Prabhjot Singh, 31, a physician and Columbia University international affairs professor, was walking through South Harlem on Sept. 21 when a band of young men on bicycles began punching and kicking him, shouting “Get Osama!” and “terrorist!” After he fell , they continued to beat him, fracturing his jaw. Passersby helped scatter the assailants.

The NYPD did not say whether others would be arrested in the case. Morales has a prior arrest for carrying a loaded gun in the South Bronx in 2010, pokice said.

Singh wears the beard and turban typical of Sikh men, a peace-loving religion founded in India and unrelated to Islam. He had previously been outspoken on the issue of violence against Sikhs. In the days after the assault, he invited his attackers to his place of worship. Singh could not be reached for comment Sunday.

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