A Wisconsin man who threw acid on a Peruvian immigrant’s face after accusing him of invading the U.S. and demanding him to go back to his country has been charged with a hate crime.
According to ABC News, which obtained a probable cause affidavit, Clifton Blackwell, a white man from Milwaukee, was charged with first-degree reckless injury, use of a dangerous weapon and a hate crime for the anti-immigrant attack.
On Friday, Blackwell, 61, approached Mahud Villalaz outside a local restaurant, telling him he was illegally parked. When the 42-year-old returned to the Mexican food spot after moving his truck, Blackwell began accusing him of invading his country and coming to the U.S. illegally. After Villalaz, who was born in Peru and is a U.S citizen, informed Blackwell of his status, the elder man threw what police are now describing as battery acid on him, burning the right side of the man’s face and blurring his vision.
The attack was caught on camera, sparking uproar in the community and on social media. Among those voicing their outrage is Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who this week blamed President Donald Trump for the xenophobic attack.
“We know what’s happening. Everybody knows what’s happening. It’s because the president is talking about it on a daily basis that people feel that they have license to go after Hispanic people, and it’s wrong,” Barrett, a Democrat, said, according to The Hill.
If Blackwell, who was arrested on Saturday, is convicted as charged, he could face up to 25 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.