Last weekend, Lorenzo Molina, member of Grammy Award-winning band The Mavericks, was the victim of an alleged hate crime, as he and a friend Oscar Morales were assaulted in a sports bar in Franklin, Tennessee, reportedly for speaking Spanish among themselves.
“My friend Orlando and I were just brutally attacked at a sports bar because we speak in Spanish,” wrote the Cuban musician on a GoFundMe page set up by himself. “We didn’t do anything to anybody and got beaten up badly. My friend is in bad shape. Any support would help while we proceed with getting justice for this hate crime.”
The Mavericks’ frontman Raul Malo shared a statement on the band’s social media channels on behalf of the band, saying: “For this assault to occur as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with our own performance (featuring Lorenzo) tonight on the Hispanic Heritage Awards, shows that although we’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go. America is better than this.” Pictures of Molina and Morales’ injuries were also shared on the post.
“The case is currently classified as an aggravated assault, which is a felony,” shared a spokesperson from the Franklin Police Department “It has been assigned to a detective, and an investigation is underway.”
Tony’s Eat & Drink, the bar where the alleged assault took place, is currently cooperating with the investigation, according to a Facebook post written by the management. “We want to be clear that we do not support racism or condone hate crimes at our establishment and are taking this matter seriously. We do not nor have we ever allowed for violence to perpetuate for any reason and in this specific instance, our security staff acted quickly and reasonably to bring the altercation to an end.”
The Mavericks were founded in Miami in 1989. Molina joined the band as a trumpet player in August 2017. They released their very first Spanish-language album En Español in August this year.