Wisconsin man suffers 2nd-degree burns from battery acid in racist attack, accused of being in country illegally
"He started arguing, saying, 'Why you came here and invade my country? Why you came here illegally?' [I said], 'Sir, you don't know my status. I'm a U.S. citizen too,'" victim Mahud Villalaz, 42, recalled. "He got mad when I told him 'everybody came here from somewhere else.'"
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN: A Hispanic man was left with second-degree burns after someone threw battery acid on his face last week, accusing him of being in the country illegally. Mahud Villalaz, 42, said in a press conference Sunday, November 3, that he was doused with the chemical Friday, after the suspect had an argument with him regarding how he parked his car, ABC News reported.
"He told me I could not park right there. He said, 'You need to obey the law. You came here and invade my country,'" Villalaz told reporters. "I ignored him." Villalaz added that he went onto park his car in a new space but the suspect was "still waiting out there with a bottle in his hands" and continued to curse him.
"He started arguing, saying, 'Why you came here and invade my country? Why you came here illegally?' [I said], 'Sir, you don't know my status. I'm a U.S. citizen too,'" Villalaz recalled. "He got mad when I told him 'everybody came here from somewhere else.'"
The victim was on his way to a restaurant when the argument took place. As Villalaz began walking away from the spot, the suspect raised his hand, pointing it at him before throwing the liquid at his face. Villalaz recalled the acid "burning really bad."
"I started screaming for help. I went to the restaurant to try to wash myself," Villalaz said. "I was really scared. I thought he was going to run behind me. But thank God nothing else happened. Thank God he didn't have a gun and I have my life."
The 61-year-old suspect has been arrested by the police but his identity has been withheld. He faces a charge of aggravated battery. A GoFundMe account was set up for Villalaz by his brother, which has already exceeded its goal of $15,000.
"We see acts of hate like this happening everywhere. The only thing we can ask ourselves is why do they hate us so much? When will they realize that we all have equal rights and who is next," the fundraising page said.