Mayor says acid attack on man a horrific hate crime

The mayor of Milwaukee says an acid attack on a Latino American citizen is a horrific hate crime that should never have occurred.

Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett said Monday that he looks at the crime in the context of the current political climate in the country in which President Donald Trump “seems to try to create more division” among citizens.

“It’s just horrific to think that one human being would throw acid in another human being’s face over a verbal fight,” Barrett said.

Mahud Villalaz suffered second-degree burns to his face after he was confronted by a man outside a restaurant Friday night who he says told him he didn’t belong in the country and threw acid from a container.

Surveillance video shows Villalaz stumbling away from the suspect, who police say is white.

Mayor says acid attack on man a horrific hate crime
Suspect in acid attack a veteran, suffered PTSD

A man suspected of throwing acid on another man in Milwaukee has been identified as a military veteran, with family members saying he suffered from post-traumatic stress.

Police haven’t identified the man, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says he is 61-year-old Clifton A. Blackwell. The paper cited police arrest records and reported his mother Jacqueline Blackwell said her son has been under the care of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Milwaukee.

His brother, 63-year-old Arthur Blackwell of Evergreen, Colorado, told The Associated Press on Monday that Blackwell “was not a confrontational person.” He says his brother served nearly four years in the U.S. Marines.

State court records show Blackwell was convicted in a 2006 Rusk County case of false imprisonment and pointing a gun at a person. Details aren’t available online, but the Journal Sentinel reported the case involved Blackwell confronting men who had come onto his farm property tracking a deer.

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