91-Year-Old Man Beaten With a Brick In Vicious Racist Attack, Told ‘Go Back To Your Country’
California police are searching for multiple suspects after an elderly Mexican man was reportedly battered with a brick in his Los Angeles neighborhood on Independence Day in what a witness described as a blatantly “racist” attack, CNN reports.
The witness, 35-year-old Misbel Borjas, caught the incident on camera and called 911. He said she tried to intervene but the woman threatened to attack her too.
Borjas, who’d been driving by in a car, told The Washington Post that the mother pushed Rodriguez to the ground before “repeatedly bash[ing] him in the face with a concrete brick while yelling, ‘Go back to your country.’” It’s unclear where the woman obtained the brick.
Rodriguez was born in Mexico and is a permanent resident of the United States. He described the incident during an interview with CNN.
“I can’t walk anymore,” Rodriguez said in Spanish as tears Tears glistened on the black and purple bruises. “I’m in so much pain,” Rodriguez said.
He had traveled from Michoacan, Mexico, to visit his family in Willowbrook, California, a city in Los Angeles County, his grandson Erik Mendoza said.
He makes the trip about twice a year, and takes a walk through the neighborhood every day after lunch, Mendoza said. “Everyone in the neighborhood knows him already,” he said.
Rodriguez said he was walking to a nearby park on Wednesday when he passed a woman and a little girl. Without warning, the woman assaulted him, he said, hitting him with a concrete block and enlisting a group of men to join in beating him.
“I didn’t even bump into her kid,” Rodriguez said. “I just passed her and she pushed me and she hit me until she was done.”
She allegedly told them Rodriguez was trying to snatch her daughter from her.
“But that’s not true,” Rodriguez told CNN in Spanish this week. “In the years I have been alive, I have never offended anyone.”
The men, whose relationship to the woman is unknown, kicked Rodriguez while he lay “crumpled on the ground and stomped on his head,” Borjas told the Post. The group fled before police arrived.
Police are looking for “a female suspect and three to four male suspects” in the assault, the LA County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement Monday night.
Rodriguez’s family started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the elderly man’s medical bills.
“I’m just overwhelmed how anybody can do this to a human being at all,” Erik Mendoza, Rodriguez’s grandson, told CBSLA.
In three days, more than 5,500 people have donated $160,000 — far surpassing the family’s original $15,000 goal. The campaign’s comments section was deluged with words of support and compassion from people across the country.
“The love and kindness of every true American is being sent to you,” wrote one donor. “Whether it’s through prayers, monetary gifts, or kind words, the message is clear: America wants you well and values you. What happened to you wasn’t American, it was monstrous.”
Watch the video below: