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Tulsa police search for beating suspects

Updated:

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Police believe two men accused of beating a Pakistani man because of his ethnicity are still in the Tulsa area.

Billy Dwayne Silmon, 23, and Vernon Anthony Benson, 21, both of Tulsa, were charged Sept. 28 with malicious harassment based on race. They are accused of assaulting Naveed Alam, 29, as he was walking into a gas station.

Authorities said the men attacked Alam the night of Sept. 11 after terrorists from the Middle East slammed hijacked planes in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Silmon and Benson did ``intimidate and harass Naveed Alam because of race or color,'' court documents say.

Alam's jaw was broken and he lost several teeth.

``We have been searching for them since they were charged more than a week ago,'' Officer Lucky Lamons said. ``We do believe that they are still in Tulsa, however.''
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