LOS ANGELES – A 92-year-old man beaten repeatedly in the face with a brick in Los Angeles on Wednesday thanked the passer-by who took video of the aftermath of the attack, which may have helped lead to an arrest in the case.
Rodolfo Rodriguez was out for a walk, when he was beaten in the night of 4 July on a sidewalk in a tough South Los Angeles neighborhood known as Willowbrook.
Bell Borjas, who lives in the area, captured in a video of Rodriguez as he sat dazed in the grass, his face covered in blood. The video and a photo that Borjas says shows the attacker drew wide attention in the media and on social media in the days that follow.
Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrested 30-year-old Laquisha Jones in the attack late Tuesday and booked her into jail for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon.
It is unclear whether Jones has a lawyer. She was jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail.
Borjas, who said she witnessed the attack, said Rodriguez did nothing to provoke, but they said Jones claimed that he had bumped into her daughter.
“They immediately struck him with her hands and then got a stone and started hitting him in the head with the brick,” Borjas said Wednesday in the vicinity of the place of the attack. “He tried to block her, but he is old and weak.”
Borjas, 35, said Rodriguez was hit about five times with the brick, and that Jones shouted to him: “Go back to your country.”
She said that she thinks the attack was racially motivated, but the sheriff’s department said Wednesday that “this is not a hate-related incident.” The department does not explain why a hate crime was excluded.
Rodriguez, whose face is still black and blue a week after the attack, hugged Borjas outside his house Wednesday and thanked her for her help.
He told reporters that he did not know why he was attacked and is grateful for the outpouring of community support and good wishes he has received.
“I am but a poor, old man; I have not earned,” he told reporters in Spanish outside of his house.
For Jones, he said that they are in the right hands.
“I leave it to the law,” he said in Spanish. “I am not qualified to say that she deserves five years or 10 years, that is also not going to cure anything or heal me. What is there to heal me is Jesus Christ. They give her the punishment that she deserves.”