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A man in new york allegedly threw battery acid in another man’s face on Friday night, police said, adding that it is the result of a dispute over a parking space.
Mahud Villalaz, 42, suffered second-degree burns on his face, Fox 6 reported. The police department did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment, but the Journal Sentinel reported officers were investigating the incident as a racially motivated hate crime.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Villalaz said that he did not feel safe to go outside.
“I’m just an American citizen,” he said Villalaz, adding that he is a native of Peru who immigrated to the U.S. when he was a child. “I’m afraid that I don’t feel safe in my own country with my next-door neighbors.”
Villalaz, told reporters that he had been parked in the vicinity of a Mexican restaurant for dinner around 8:30 p.m. Friday when a man at a nearby bus stop approached him and spoke to him in an anti-immigrant tone of voice, the Journal Sentinel reported.
“He came to me with those hate words, Villalaz said. “Go back to your country of origin. You don’t have a home here. This is my country.”
CALIFORNIA MAN, 19, WAS SENTENCED AFTER A BRUTAL GANG IN HATE CRIME ATTACK
Villalaz said the suspect had a small bag he was carrying on the side.” The suspect pulled out a bottle, uncapped it and took a cloth to his face, Villalaz said.
The fabric was so strong that it burned through his coat and sweater, Villalaz said. Police were searching for the assailant, who was described as a white male, approximately six feet tall with a medium build.
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Alderman Jose Perez, in a statement, calling the incident a “terrible” violation of the law and an act of “senseless violence.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.