California

‘Go back to your own country.’ 91-year-old man beaten with a brick, L.A. cops say

Rodolfo Rodriguez, 92, was kicked and beaten with a brick by attackers who told him to “go back to your own country” on July 4 in Los Angeles after he bumped into a child on his daily walk, police say. His family has established a GoFundMe account to help pay his medical bills.
Rodolfo Rodriguez, 92, was kicked and beaten with a brick by attackers who told him to “go back to your own country” on July 4 in Los Angeles after he bumped into a child on his daily walk, police say. His family has established a GoFundMe account to help pay his medical bills. GoFundMe

Rodolfo Rodriguez, 91, set out about 8 p.m. on Independence Day on his regular evening walk around his Los Angeles neighborhood, relatives told KTLA. But what happened next was anything but routine.

When Rodriguez bumped into a young girl while trying to pass her on the sidewalk near his home, the toddler’s mother shoved him to the ground and beat him in the face with a brick, police told the station.

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After a passer-by stopped to record the incident on video and call police, four men ran up and began kicking Rodriguez while the child’s mother shouted at him, reported KCBS.

“Go back to your country, why are you here, bad things,” the witness said the mother told Rodriguez, who is a legal U.S. resident, according to the station.

Rodriguez, who doesn’t understand English, still has no idea why he was attacked, his grandson, Erik Mendoza, told KCBS.

Rodriguez, whose age was initially reported as 92 by his family but who later said he's still 91, suffered broken ribs and a broken cheekbone, and has bruises all over his body, reported KNBC.

"Who would do this to anybody?" Mendoza told the station. "A 92-year-old senior citizen, what can he do to anybody? There's no harm that he meant."

Police arrested Laquisha Jones, 30, of Los Angeles, on Tuesday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the attack on Rodriguez. They are still seeking the four men involved.

"We are concerned, especially with the type of crime they committed," Deputy D'Angelo Robinson told KTLA before the arrest. "There was what appears to be a 4-year-old child there who witnessed the entire thing. We can't have these kind of people like that out in the streets."

A GoFundMe account has been established to help pay Rodriguez’s medical costs. The drive had raised more than $250,000 of its original $15,000 goal by Wednesday morning.

Leonardo Scarpati and Noremi Scarpati invite us to their home to talk about what the 4th of July means to them.

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