Breaking news: mutineer Mark, who has done an outstanding job of keeping the SM community apprised of the aftermath (or lack of) of Satender Singh’s vicious, senseless murder, points us to The Sacramento Bee, for news we have all been waiting for, about this hate crime:
A month after the death of a Fijian man on a river beach, Sacramento County Sheriff’s detectives have identified the man who allegedly threw the lethal punch and then fled the country, officials confirmed Tuesday.
Sheriff’s spokesman Tim Curran said that 29-year-old Andrey Vusik of West Sacramento is the key suspect in the July 1 assault on Satender Singh at Lake Natoma — an act of violence many of Singh’s friends and supporters say was fueled by homophobia and hate.
Singh was salaciously enjoying himself, by hanging out with his friends, hugging them, dancing around…you know, very gay activities. He should have known better than to hug people. Or dance.
Vusik was identified as a suspect from witness statements, according to Curran. Sheriff’s officials would not specify what country he fled to and said they do not know his precise whereabouts.
“We believe he’s out of the country and we’re working with the FBI to locate him,” Curran said.
Well, at least there’s this:
Vusik’s relatives here are cooperating with homicide detectives, Curran said.
A warrant for Vusik’s arrest on suspicion of manslaughter was issued July 27. It remained unclear Tuesday when or whether Vusik would return to California to face charges.
For those of us who wondered about whether it would be considered a hate crime:
Curran also said investigators have uncovered information — including statements made before Singh was punched — that could support a hate crime enhancement should the District Attorney’s Office decide to file that count.
Wait, there’s more:
Detectives have also questioned a second suspect connected to the assault: Aleksander Shevchenko, 21, also of West Sacramento. According to authorities, Shevchenko was also involved in the altercation. He was arrested late Monday on suspicion of intimidation, also a hate crime.
Satender died almost exactly a month ago, after being punched and then striking his head on the base of a picnic table so hard, he damaged his brain stem. The group which attacked Satender had been harassing him and his friends all day, for their ethnicity and their perceived sexual orientation. For shame.
As those of you who have been participating in the comment thread below already know, The Sacramento Bee has another, more explosive article about this outrageous hate crime (Thanks, Amita):
About what the suspect would be charged with:
Vusik is charged with involuntary manslaughter rather than murder because the evidence does not show any intent to kill Singh, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement released Tuesday.
Singh’s family reacts:
But Tuesday’s action brought at least one family closer to a resolution.
“We are relieved that he will have justice,” said Singh’s uncle Camie Bhuie, “and we hope they can bring back the other culprit soon.”…
Singh’s friends and supporters have said the assault was fueled by homophobia and hate, coming after a string of racial slurs and anti-gay jibes allegedly made by a Russian-speaking group at the state park.
About the accused (who was identified in my original post, but I don’t mind naming shame again):
Homicide investigators say Vusik threw the lethal punch.
The West Sacramento man, whose wife and children remain in the area, is still at large in Russia, where he is being sought on a charge of involuntary manslaughter and committing a hate crime, said Sgt. Connie Merkins of the sheriff’s homicide bureau.
Here’s the best, and by best, I mean worst part of the article– he invokes “self-defense”:
In an interview with The Bee, Vusik’s wife, Tatyana, insisted he is innocent and acted in self-defense — not out of hate. She characterized Singh’s death as an accident..
The other suspect in the case, Shevchenko, surrendered voluntarily at his home Monday, according to Merkins. He is charged with intimidation and interfering with a victim’s rights, which is also a hate crime.
Wait- how many years would this hate-fueled criminal serve?
If convicted, Vusik could face a maximum of eight years in prison, while Shevchenko faces a maximum of three years. Shevchenko, who remained at the main jail in lieu of $25,000 bail, could not be reached Tuesday.
In the weeks since Singh’s death, Tatyana Vusik said she has struggled with the serious accusations that have clouded her family and the larger Slavic community. The crime, she said through a Russian translator, has become exaggerated in political circles. She said gay activists are trying to make an example of her husband, who she says is “a good man.“
This is Vusik’s version of what happened that day:
That day at Lake Natoma, Tatyana Vusik said she and her family were relaxing and enjoying the view…
It seemed like a pleasant afternoon, Tatyana Vusik said, until a neighboring party — which included Singh — grew raucous. She said the revelers were drinking alcohol, swearing loudly and dancing provocatively.
The mother said she then saw Singh leap onto a table, swishing his shirt between his legs. Others around him smashed bottles. She said she saw two men kissing.
That’s obviously worth killing someone over. I love that they chose to use the word, “swishing”. And am I the only one who finds it difficult to believe that they were breaking bottles? If you’re going to impugn a murder victim, at least come up with a better lie.
As several of you have pointed out, the following sentence is the most outrageous, hypocritical and disturbing.
“We’re a Christian family,” Tatyana Vusik said.
She said she asked her husband to tell Singh’s group to calm down, that there were children present.
Blame the victim! Blame the victim!
At that point, Tatyana Vusik said, the other group began attacking her family verbally, telling them to go back to Russia. She said the group cursed at her and her sister, Dasha Yakovchuk.
Someone needs to point out to this…person…that none of that justifies punching someone. Hey, look! More defamation:
Tatyana Vusik recalled that it was Singh who first mentioned “gay” as part of a crude sexual invitation apparently meant for her husband.
And how did her husband respond? That noble, brave, good-natured man tried to defuse the situation, with humor (and then his fist!):
She recalled that her husband said the atmosphere was growing tense, so he used the word “gay” as part of a joke.
She said neither she nor her husband is part of any anti-gay group or movement.
More shameless finger-pointing:
An earlier version of events from the Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that there was a confrontation between the two groups, but that the “Russian-speaking” group had hurled homophobic slurs at Singh and racial remarks at him and his friends, according to witness statements.
“That’s what they say, but they don’t know the truth,” Yakovchuk told The Bee in an interview Tuesday. “It was exactly the other way around.”
Tatyana recalled that after the exchange began, she, her sister and the children left the park. Her husband and Shevchenko and another friend stayed behind.
Why? Why did they stay behind, if their “families” were leaving what was supposed to be a pure Christian, “family outting”? To try and defuse the tension with more humor? Hmmm. Maybe they were going to pray for Satender, since he was going to hell for two reasons, instead of just one!!
Soft punch. SOFT PUNCH. That’s what comes next in this grossly offensive, poorly-concocted story:
When Vusik came home later that night, he told his wife there was a confrontation, and he acted in self-defense. She recalled that Vusik said Singh had lifted a broken glass bottle and aimed at him. He threw a “soft punch” and ran away, Tatyana Vusik said.
Soft enough to knock a man down and send him hurtling backwards until his head bounced off the base of a picnic table? That sort of “soft”?
This is important:
Sheriff’s detectives said there are no accounts from independent witnesses or any of Singh’s friends that support that account.
Tatyana Vusik said her husband had no idea that Singh had died when he left in early July for a business trip exporting vehicles.
Obstruct justice much?
She refused to disclose her husband’s whereabouts, but said she has spoken with him at least twice a week since he left.
In their phone conversations, she said, Andrey Vusik has repeatedly expressed his condolences to Singh’s family. She said he is having a difficult time grasping the gravity of the crime.
Further bovine fecal matter spouting:
“We just got in the confrontation between the churches and the gay community; what happened was a tragic accident, and had nothing to do with gays,” she said through a translator.
Special place in hell, for anyone who helps cover up a crime; extra furnace points if it’s a hate crime, that’s all I’m sayin’.
Pictures of the accused, so you don’t have to create a login for the Sacramento Bee…
Andrey Vusik (thrower of the lethal punch):