He was only going for a walk.
Rodolfo Rodriguez, a 92-year-old legal U.S. resident, was allegedly attacked with a brick and told to go back to his own country after bumping into a child during his daily stroll around the neighborhood.
Rodriguez had been walking near his home in the Willowbrook area of Los Angeles at around 8 p.m. on July 4 when he bumped into a little girl on the sidewalk, reports KCAL 9, a CBS station out of Los Angeles. A woman believed to be the girl’s mother then reportedly threw Rodriguez to the ground and began hitting him - first with her fists, then with a brick. The woman was then joined by four men, who joined in on the attack, KTLA, a Tribune Broadcasting station based in L.A., reports.
One witness told KCAL 9 that she heard the attackers saying “Go back to your country," "why are you here" and other "bad things.” After she asked the woman why they were attacking Rodriguez, the witness said the mother claimed that he had tried to “touch [her] girl.”
“I saw everything, this is a lie,” the witness continued. “And when the guys came, they hit him in the face, his body, everything.”
The group of attackers fled as the police were called, but not before leaving Rodriguez with broken ribs, a broken cheekbone, and bruises all over his body, according to KCAL 9. The extensive injuries Rodriguez suffered to his face can be seen in the screenshot above.
“Who would do this to anybody? A 92-year-old senior citizen, what can he do to anybody? There’s no harm that he meant,” Rodriguez’s grandson Erik Mendoza told NBC.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has launched an investigation to find those responsible for the attack, reports NBC Los Angeles. Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Department at 323-568-4800.
It looks like Rodriguez’s family has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for his medical bills and raised $31,037 — more than double their original $15,000 goal — in just two days.
[Photo: GoFundMe Campaign/Erik Mendoza]