Two men were arrested Thursday for allegedly beating a local taxi driver in Pleasanton in what appears to be a racially motivated crime, police said.
Pleasanton detectives found and arrested the two suspects, Jacob Billingsley, a 27-year-old Alamo resident, and Michael Goldstein, a 33-year-old Danville resident, at Goldstein's home.
Lt. Mike Elerick said the victim, Jaswinder Bangar, received about 10 stitches to his lip and a broken tooth after the suspects were said to have repeatedly kicked and punched him.
Bangar reportedly picked up the two white males at 12:55 a.m. from Redcoats British Pub and Restaurant on St. Mary Street and was taking them to Danville. Reports said the suspects began calling Bangar derogatory names and punching him in the back of the head.
Bangar then reportedly pulled into the 7-Eleven parking lot on Valley Avenue to call police on his cell phone. The suspects took the phone and broke it, police said, then the victim exited the car. The suspects followed and continued punching and kicking the man before the two ran away northbound on Valley Avenue, according to police reports.
The two men were booked at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and face charges of battery and obstructing a phone call to police.
Elerick said it's not unusual for intoxicated people to get into arguments with taxi drivers, but that he didn't recall an injury like this taking place in the recent past.