Hate crime charge announced against man who allegedly ran over Lakewood store owner

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Eric Breemen

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) – Eric Breemen is facing a new hate crime charge after he allegedly ran over a Sikh man with his car in Lakewood.

The victim, Lakhwant Singh, was hit by a car in the parking lot of his liquor store on April 29, and an investigation led police to Breemen as the driver.

Last month, a number of charges, including attempted murder, assault and harassment, were announced against Breemen.

Singh spent 65 days in the hospital recovering from serious injuries. During that time it was not possible for him to be interviewed in person because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Since Singh has been released from the hospital, investigators from the DA’s Office working with the FBI interviewed him about what happened.

On Tuesday, the DA’s office announced the additional charge of bias-motivated crime (hate crime) against Breemen.

“This is a very serious case and another example of the challenges we face in the criminal justice system during this public health emergency,” said DA Pete Weir. “Because of our on-going investigation, additional facts have been presented to law enforcement which have led to the filing of the Bias-Motivated crime charge today.”

Breemen is being held at the Jefferson County Jail on $50,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Friday.

Singh sent the following statement Tuesday evening:

“I am so very grateful to everyone–Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike, from Lakewood, elsewhere in Colorado, across the country, and beyond–who have stood with me and my family in this incredibly difficult time,” said Singh. “I appreciate the Jefferson County authorities hearing my story and, through these charges, recognizing the role that hate played in my horrible attack.”

Amrith Kaur, the Sikh Coalition’s legal director, also issued a statement:

“The decision to add a bias-motivated charge against Breemen is a resounding victory not just for Mr. Singh, but for minority communities who are threatened by bias and bigotry every day,” said Kaur. “Adding these charges sends a clear message: Hatred is not welcome in Jefferson County, and those who are targeted for being different know that this community will acknowledge it and stand with them in solidarity.”

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