Joseph Caleca, of Setauket, facing hate crime charges in Queens hit-and-run

A Suffolk man is facing hate crime charges after a hit-and-run in Queens. Prosecutors say 29-year-old Sandeep Singh, of Ozone Park, was nearly killed when

The man was dragged several feet and suffered

The man was dragged several feet and suffered abdominal and back injuries, police say.

SETAUKET - A Suffolk man is facing hate crime charges after a hit-and-run in Queens.

Prosecutors say 29-year-old Sandeep Singh, of Ozone Park, was nearly killed when Joseph Caleca, 55, of Setauket, mowed him down with his pickup truck. The incident occurred on July 30.

Prosecutors say Singh and three friends were standing at the intersection of 99th and 101st streets in Ozone Park when a light-colored pickup truck driven by Caleca pulled up to them. Police say Caleca got out of his pickup, cursed and yelled at Singh, who is Sikh saying, "Osama, go back to your country."

Police say Caleca got back into his pickup and drove head-on into Singh, dragging him several feet until his body was dislodged. They say Caleca then fled the scene.

Singh was taken to Jamaica Hospital where he underwent surgery for internal bleeding and several staples to his midsection.

Caleca, who police say lives on Glatter Lane in Setauket, was arrested and arraigned Tuesday on charges of attempted murder and assault as a hate crime.

If convicted, Caleca faces up to 25 years in prison. He was held without bail and ordered to return to court on Sept. 10.

Police say Singh is expected to survive his injuries.

 

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