Willowbrook, an area within Los Angeles county, was the scene of a brutal assault last Wednesday.
During his daily walk to the park, 91-year-old grandfather Rodolfo Rodriguez passed a woman and her child. After he bumped harmlessly into the young girl, the mother allegedly attacked him, striking him repeatedly with a brick and leaving him bloody and bruised on the sidewalk. The assailant then reportedly told a group of men that Rodriguez had tried to take her daughter, and enlisted their help in beating him further.
“I didn’t even bump into her kid,” Rodriguez told CNN, “I just passed her and she pushed me and she hit me until she was done.”
Misbel Borjas, a passerby who saw the incident from her car, pulled out her phone to record the aftermath. “I heard her saying ‘Go back to your country, Go back to Mexico,’” she said in a statement. “When I tried to videotape her with my cell phone, she threw that same concrete block [and] tried to hit my car.”
Borjas then posted a video to Facebook, showing the still-bleeding Rodriguez on the ground. The video gained massive traction, receiving over 1.5 million views since its posting on July 5.
In an interview with CNN, Rodolfo began to cry as his grandson explained what happened. Eric did not show anger towards the attackers, just sadness and confusion. He just wants to know why his grandfather was targeted, and why the woman wanted to hurt him so badly.
“That’s the lesson you’re going to give your child, for you to hurt elderly people because they bump into you? I just want to know what was going through her mind.”
Bruises cover the face of Rodolfo Rodriguez, 91, who says he was attacked by a group of people while going for a walk on the 4th of July.— CNN (@CNN) July 10, 2018
A witness says a woman hit Rodriguez repeatedly in the head with a concrete block and said "go back to your country." https://t.co/8ivqwYysUh pic.twitter.com/opZwZEsaPq
Rodolfo survived the attack, but he spent six hours in the hospital due to his injuries. He received a broken cheekbone, broken ribs, and a broken jaw, as well as multiple bruises and lacerations. A GoFundMe was started by his grandson, Eric Mendoza, to cover the medical expenses. Currently, the fundraiser has received over $200,000 in donations, and is still open for those who would like to support his recovery.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is still looking for suspects. According to Deputy D’Angelo Robinson, they hope to find the attackers as soon as possible. “We are concerned, especially with the type of crime they committed,” he said in a statement to KTLA. “We can’t have these kind of people like that out in the streets.”