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 that may have helped lead to an arrest in the case.
Rodolfo Rodriguez was out for a walk when he was beaten the night of July 4 on a sidewalk in a tough South Los Angeles neighborhood known as Willowbrook.
Misbel Borjas, who lives in the area, captured 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 widespread attention in the news media and on social media in the days following.
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’s unclear if Jones has an attorney. She was being jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail.
Borjas, who said she witnessed the attack, said Rodriguez did nothing to provoke it, though she said Jones claimed he had bumped into her daughter.
“She immediately hit him with her hands and then got a brick and started hitting him in the head with the brick,” Borjas said Wednesday near the scene of the attack. “He tried to block her but he’s old and pretty weak.”
Borjas, 35, said Rodriguez was hit about five times with the brick and that Jones yelled at him: “Go back to your country.”
She said she thinks the attack was racially motivated, though the sheriff’s department said Wednesday that “this is not a hate-related incident.” The department didn’t explain why a hate crime had been ruled out.
Rodriguez, whose face is still black and blue a week after the attack, hugged Borjas outside his home Wednesday and thanked her for her help.
He told reporters that he doesn’t know why he was attacked and is grateful for the outpouring of community support and well wishes he’s received.
“I’m just a poor old man; I don’t deserve it,” he told reporters in Spanish outside his home.
As for Jones, he said she’s in the right hands.
“I’ll leave it to the law,” he said in Spanish. “I’m not qualified to say she deserves five years or 10 years — that’s not going to heal anything or heal me. What’s going to heal me is Jesus Christ. They’ll give her the punishment she deserves.”
By AMANDA LEE MYERS, Associated Press