Chris Marquez, an Iraq war veteran attacked at a Washington, D.C., Mcdonald’s this month, continues to heal from his wounds, while two of the suspects accused of assault and robbery were arrested today.
The Daily Caller reports that two teens, a male and a female, both 17, were arrested on Monday in connection with assaulting and robbing Marquez as he left the Mcdonald’s on 911 E St., N.W. The male, seen in a surveillance video hitting Marquez over the head, is charged with aggravated assault, and the female is charged with felony robbery.
According to Marquez, he was eating at the restaurant on February 12 when a group of teens began taunting him for no reason. They asked if he believed in “Black Lives Matter,” but the Iraq war veteran stated he felt threatened and put his head down without answering.
“The kids were asking me if I think that black lives mattered. I was ignoring them, just because I felt intimidated. I felt how they approached me, it was very hostile. I felt they were really trying to intimidate me and just trying to start a confrontation with me.”
A press release provided by the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department confirms that the teens, both of Northwest D.C., were arrested, but so far, they aren’t charged with any hate crimes.
“On Monday, February 22, 2016, First District Detectives and the Criminal Interdiction Unit arrested a 17-year-old juvenile male, of Northwest, D.C. and a 17-year-old juvenile female, of Northwest, D.C. The juvenile male was charged with Aggravated Assault and the juvenile female was charged with Robbery.”
Authorities are still searching for a third suspect said to be involved in the incident.
When Marquez heard the news of the arrests, he told the Daily Caller that although he’s glad two of the suspects were arrested, he’s disappointed that authorities didn’t charge them with a hate crime.
“I am glad two suspects have been arrested, but I am deeply disappointed they have not been charged with a hate crime yet. Not prosecuting this as a hate crime will only encourage more hate crimes against white people and create further division in this great country.”
Marquez served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps, from 2003-2011. He fought overseas in Fallujah and his heroic effort to save a fellow marine during his time in Iraq was the inspiration for the “No Man Left Behind” sculptures. One of the sculptures stands prominently at the Wounded Warrior Battalion in Camp Pendleton, California.
After attacking Marquez, the teens allegedly stole his wallet, which contained $400 in cash, his VA identification card, credit cards, a bus pass, and a student I.D. card. Authorities indicate that the suspects began using the stolen credits right away, charging purchases at a liquor store, Walmart, and Five Guys restaurant.
The assault left the veteran with severe cuts and bruises on his face and head. He was treated at a local hospital for a head contusion and eye trauma. Supporters set up a GoFundMe account to help Marquez recoup the cash he lost. More than $35,000 was raised for Marquez within seven days.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the assault and robbery is still ongoing. Crime Solvers of Washington, D.C., is currently offering up to $1,000 to anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest of the other suspect and/or indictment of the people responsible for the crimes. If you have any information regarding the veteran Marine attack, contact the Metropolitan PD at 202-727-9099, or text to the TEXT TIP LINE at 50411.
[Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images]