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Welcome to America:
91-year old Mexican man attacked in California by woman with brick and told to “go back to your country”

July 10, 2018

Photos: Above, still image from video posted online by witness to attack, Misbel Borjas. Credit: M. Borjas. Bottom: still image from Spanish TV video news report by Noticias62/En Vivo (News 62)

CLICK TO ENLARGE: Photo taken the night of the attack on Mr. Rodriguez by witness Misbel Borjas of Los Angeles and posted online. It shows an unidentified woman, standing next to a child, and holding what appears to be a brick in her right hand.

Chronicle staff

(WILLOWBROOK, CA.) – According to his family members, 91-year old Rodolfo Rodriguez was released from a California hospital last Thursday after being viciously attacked by a woman wielding a brick on a sidewalk on July 4th.

The woman beat him in the face with that brick and yelled at him to “go back to your country.”

The attack first hit mainstream American media in a large way the evening of Monday July 9. Mr. Rodriguez suffered two broken ribs and a broken cheekbone along with other injuries as he was not only attacked by the woman, but also by a group of young men as he was already on the ground, bloodied from the woman’s attack with that brick

According to Spanish and American news reports this is what happened:

Mr. Rodriguez, who turns 92 in September, had traveled from Michoacan, Mexico to visit his family in Willowbrook, California, a city in Los Angeles County. He does this trip twice a year.

His grandson Erik Mendoza said his grandfather often takes a walk in the neighborhood and that people know him, and that he has never had trouble before.

Just as a fireworks display was about to start he noticed his grandfather was missing so he went to look for him, assuming he’d gone on a walk in the neighborhood. What he found instead was a blood stained sidewalk. His grandfather had already been taken away in an ambulance.

The witness

Misbel Borjas, 35, a South Los Angeles resident was a witness to the attack as it happened. She was in her car about 7 pm that night and she saw Mr. Rodriguez accidentally bump into a young girl while walking on the sidewalk.

Borjas told The Washington Post she then watched in horror as the child’s mother pushed Rodriguez onto the ground and repeatedly bashed him in the face with a concrete brick while yelling at him, “Go back to your country!”

Borjas told the Post she tried to help the elderly man but the woman with the brick said if she (Borjas) tried to intervene she would “hit your car with the same brick.”

Mr. Borjas then photographed the mother and her child and called 911.

But the assault on Rodriguez wasn’t over yet. Borjas said just minutes after the brick attack, a group of young men came running down the street accusing Rodriguez of trying to kidnap the young girl and they then began to kick Rodriguez who was already on the ground bleeding. They also stomped on his head before running away, said Borjas.

Once the men left, Borjas said she got out of her car and waited with Rodriguez for the ambulance to arrive. She said it was a “terrible” scene and that Rodriguez had a lot of blood on him.

His grandson, Mr. Mendoza didn’t learn what had happened to his grand dad until later that night.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says there is an active investigation into the assault but no one has yet been arrested.

Hate crimes against Hispanics way up in California

Interestingly, the attack on Mr. Rodriguez comes as the US Department of Justice has released a hate crime statistics statistics report looking at the numbers of hate crimes in California in the year 2017.

The report is the first one published since President Trump took office. It shows an uptick in hate crimes of more than 17 percent in that state, however anti-Hispanic and anti-Latino crimes increased by over 50 percent last year, according to the Saramento Bee.

Mr. Rodriguez’s family set up a GoFundMe campaign to help with his medical costs.

As of early Tuesday morning, over 5,600 people in 3 days had donated $162,568. The goal of the campaign was $15,000.



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