Arrest made in beating of 91-year-old who reportedly was told to ‘go back to Mexico’
A week after a 91-year-old Mexican man says he was beaten with a concrete block in Southern California, a woman has been arrested in connection with the assault, authorities said.
Laquisha Jones, 30, was arrested Tuesday night in Los Angeles on suspicion of beating Rodolfo Rodriguez last week, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
She was being held on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, with bail set at $200,000.
‘I just passed her …. and she hit me’
Rodriguez, who is recovering at his relatives’ Willowbrook home south of Los Angeles, said he was walking to a park on July 4 when he passed a woman and a girl.
Without warning, the woman hit him with a concrete block, he said, and enlisted a group of men to kick him.
“I didn’t even bump into her kid,” Rodriguez said. “I just passed her, and she pushed me and she hit me until she was done.”
A witness, Misbel Borjas, said she saw a woman hitting Rodriguez in the head with the block.
“I heard her saying, ‘Go back to your country; go back to Mexico,’ ” she told CNN by phone.
Authorities said Jones is black and a Los Angeles resident.
Rodriguez, who said he travels about twice a year from his home in Mexico to visit relatives in Willowbrook, suffered a broken jaw, broken cheekbones, two broken ribs and bruises on his face, back and abdomen, his family said.
He spent five or six hours in a hospital, his family said.
Rodriguez said he doesn’t know why he was attacked. He said that at one point, the woman ran up to some men and told them Rodriguez was trying to take her daughter away from her — so the men joined her and started kicking him as he lay bleeding on a sidewalk.
“But that’s not true,” he told CNN about the woman’s allegation, through tears. “In the years I have been alive I have never offended anyone.”
‘I’m in so much pain’
The sheriff’s department said it is trying to determine a motive for the attack, and it hasn’t specified what led to Jones’ arrest.
Earlier, the department said it was looking for a woman seen in a photo that Borjas had taken. In the photo, a woman is holding what appears to be a piece of concrete or a brick.
Borjas also posted to Instagram a video of a bloodied Rodriguez sitting on grass between a sidewalk and a street shortly after the attack.
“When I tried to videotape her with my cell phone,” Borjas said of the attacker, “she threw that same concrete block, tried to hit my car.”
The sheriff’s department said it was trying to determine if others were involved in the attack.
Rodriguez’s family started a GoFundMe campaign to help cover his medical costs.
Rodriguez said he’d never been hurt like this before in a life working fields with cattle and corn. He recalled the attack while lying back in a reclining chair at his relatives’ Willowbrook home.
“I can’t walk,” Rodriguez said. “I’m in so much pain.”