Sikh-owned convenience store attacked, ATM stolen; suspect charged with hate crime

Chad Horsley

Suspect says he attacked the store because he thought it was owned by Muslims.

Chad Horsley, a former reserve sheriff’s deputy from Denham Springs, Louisiana, who was arrested for ramming his pickup truck through the window of a convenience store owned by a Sikh American last Saturday, admitted that he attacked the store thinking that the owners were Muslims.

According to the Livingston Parish Sheriff, Horsley first went to the Best Shop store on February 27, and identified himself as a sheriff to the clerk. Four days late, he returned to the store in his white pick-up and attacked it.

Police had posted the CCTV footage of the suspect on their official Facebook page on February 28, stating that the man who appears in the image entered the convenience store posing himself as a law enforcement officer and suspected the cashier of dealing drugs from the store. He left the store saying that he would be back around midnight to search the store. He also wanted the clerk “to make sure no one was around.”

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Horsley did not return to the store that night, but on Saturday, he rammed his pick-up into the store and took the ATM machine located inside. He also threatened Harjot Singh, a nephew of the store owner, with his firearm and fled the scene.

“We never thought anything like that, because everybody comes in, and they are nice,” Singh told The Advocate. “This was the first ever incident to happen like that.”

After an investigation, police identified the suspect as Horsley, 27, a former Sheriff’s Deputy with East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.

In the statement given by to the deputies, Horsley said that he was under the impression the owners were Muslim. He said he hated Muslims for killing his fellow service members overseas and couldn’t bear to see Muslims prospering.

Sheriff Jason Ard confirmed through a Facebook post that the accused who committed an alleged “Hate Crime” has been arrested. He also added that there are different layers to the whole incident.

“There are a lot of layers to this case. It’s a bizarre one that started on February 27, 2018,” Ard wrote. “That night on the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, we posted images from surveillance footage. Those images were from inside a convenience store located in the 11,000 block of Louisiana Highway 1019. We were trying to identify the individual because he claimed to be law enforcement. He said he suspected drug activity and would return to the store to do a search. He left in a white pick-up truck. We did not believe that he had any current ties to law enforcement. On March 3, 2018, we received a call from a witness. The witness tells us that a man in a white truck drove into this same convenience store.”

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Deputies searched Horsley’s home and located the white pick-u,p which was parked in a garage with the number plate purposefully removed. According to the police, the damage caused by Horsley to the Sikh-owned store is estimated to be approximately $4,000.00.

Horsley has been moved to the Livingston Parish Detention Center. He was booked on several charges, including hate crimes, simple criminal damage to property, criminal mischief and two counts of false personation of a peace officer.

As the investigation continues, his bond has been placed at $56,000.

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