Arrest Made After Hispanic Man Has Acid Thrown in His Face by 'Racist' in Milwaukee

A 61-year-old male in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been arrested on suspicion of throwing battery acid at a Hispanic man's face after allegedly telling him to "go back to your country."

Mahud Villalaz, 42, a U.S. citizen born in Peru, suffered second-degree burns to his face following in the attack which occurred on Friday, November 1 on the corner of 13th Street and Cleveland Avenue.

Villalaz said a man approached him on the street and started arguing with him about where he was parking his vehicle.

"He started talking like 'you don't respect our laws, you can't invade my country, so go back to your country," Villalaz told NBC's Nightly News.

Villalaz said he eventually moved his car but the man was still waiting for him "with a bottle in his hands," he told a press conference (via ABC News).

"He started arguing, saying, 'Why you came here and invade my country? Why you came here illegally?' [I said], 'Sir, you don't know my status. I'm a U.S. citizen too.

"He got mad when I told him everybody came here from somewhere else."

Villalaz said he was trying to walk away from the suspect when he threw the acid in his face. Villalaz believes he was the victim of a racially motivated attack.

"I believe I am a victim of a hate crime because [of] how he approached me telling me to 'get out this country,'" Villalaz told WISN. "This is pretty much a terrorist attack."

Milwaukee Police said they have now arrested a 61-year-old male on suspicion of aggravated battery in connection to the attack. Police said charges will be brought forward to the District Attorney's office in the next couple of days.

The force did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding if the suspect is expected to face hate crime charges.

"Currently, they're still under investigation making sure they have the correct person in custody and the family just wants them to keep them in their thoughts and prayers," Eileen Figueroa, director at Forward Latino, said on behalf of the family in a press conference.

State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "I'm angry that an innocent man has been so viciously attacked. I'm angry that a racist was able to live out his beliefs through violence against one of my constituents."

Elsewhere, a GoFundMe page set up by the family for Villalaz's medical bills has already raised more than $16,000.

"We see acts of hate like this happening everywhere. The only thing we can ask ourselves is why do they hate us so much?," the victim's sister, Priscilla Villalaz, wrote on the GoFundMe page.

"Mahud wants everyone to be safe and when someone approaches you with hateful words, just walk away. Don't argue with them, just walk away. People like this are convinced that if we don't have white skin we don't belong here. They won't listen to you and will do something like this or even worse."

Milwaukee
Mahud Villalaz suffered second degree burns to his face after the alleged acid atatck in Milwaukee. GoFundMe
Arrest Made After Hispanic Man Has Acid Thrown in His Face by 'Racist' in Milwaukee | U.S.