Milwaukee acid attack. Clifton Blackwell charged in hate crime against Peruvian man, Mahud Villalaz which left victim with second degree burns to his face.
A Milwaukee man has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly throwing acid in the face of a Peruvian immigrant while confronting him over a parking spot.
Clifton A. Blackwell, 61, was charged Wednesday with first-degree reckless injury, with prosecutors adding two sentencing enhancers that could tack on 10 years to his prison sentence if he’s convicted of first-degree reckless injury — which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years.
The charges follow, Mahud Villalaz, a 42-year-old US citizen who grew up in Peru, being confronted near a restaurant about ‘parking too close’ to a bus stop. Prosecutors claim Clifton Blackwell, who is white, asking Villalaz, ‘Why did you invade my county?’
After moving his truck, Villalaz returned to the restaurant only for Blackwell to continue chastising him, calling him an ‘illegal’ while repeatedly telling to ‘go back’.
#BREAKING – Video shows the moment a man was hit with battery acid. Police arrested the culprit & call it a hate crime because the victim, who is Latino, says before he was hit by the white male suspect he called him “illegal” STORY: https://t.co/WAiX44Sx9d pic.twitter.com/pb2agxS6Go
— Chernéy Amhara (@CherneyAmharaTV) November 3, 2019
Whose country is it anyway?
Villalaz told investigators he then called Blackwell a racist while shouting an expletive at the man, prompting Blackwell to splash acid in his face from a metal bottle he carried in a satchel, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
‘I think I pissed him off because I told him, ‘This is my country. This isn’t your country. Everybody came from somewhere else here,’’ Villalaz told via WISN.
Cops recovered muriatic acid, four bottles sulfuric acid drain opener and two bottles of lye from Blackwell’s home.
Villalaz has told of being thankful for the outpouring of support he’s received since the attack, which left him with second-degree burns on his face.
‘It’s been nice to know that there are many people here that worry about other people,’ said Villalaz, who works as a welder. ‘Not only Latinos … [people] of all colors. We must unite.’
A victim of political jawboning and rhetoric?
The incident led to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, blaming President Trump for his continual rhetoric which has incited hatred against minorities.
‘To single out someone because they’re from a Hispanic origin is simply wrong. And we know what’s happening,’ Barrett said. ‘Everybody knows what’s happening. It’s because the president is talking about it on a daily basis that people feel they have license to go after Hispanic people. And it’s wrong.’
The racist attack follows a long line of attacks against immigrants as an antidote to general anxiety and unease of life in the US which continues to see greater social disillusionment in the face of withering economic and social mobility.
A GoFundMe page set up by Villalaz’s family to cover his medical expenses as of Thursday morning had raised $49,641 of a $15,000 goal.
Clifton Blackwell, who made his initial court appearance Wednesday, remains held on $20,000 bond, jail records show.