Milwaukee man says he was told 'go back to your country' in acid attack

Milwaukee police on Monday were investigating an incident in which a Hispanic man was severely burned after an alleged racist incident in which he was attacked with acid and told to “go back to your country.”

Mahud Villalaz, 42, reported being assaulted outside a Mexican restaurant in Milwaukee’s Lincoln Village neighborhood on Friday, The New York Times reports. He had parked near a taqueria before a white man confronted him about how close his truck was parked to a bus stop, reported local TV station WTMJ, citing police.

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Villalaz said he responded by getting back in his pickup truck and moving it a block away. But when he came back to the restaurant, the man told him that he “came here to invade” and accused him of being an “illegal.”

Villalaz, who is a U.S. citizen who came from Peru 19 years ago, reportedly said the man made racist comments and splashed him with acid. A nearby surveillance camera shows a man splashing a liquid onto the left side of Villalaz’s face.

The victim and witnesses said that the attacker shouted "Go back to your country," while throwing the acid, according to WTMJ.

The victim was reportedly treated at a local hospital for second-degree burns.

TV station TMJ-4 reported Sunday that a 61-year-old man was arrested for aggravated battery in connection with the incident, but as of Monday night, his identity was not public and authorities had not announced any charges against him, the Times reports.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) on Monday condemned the attack and blamed President Trump, saying “this anger towards people from other countries is being fed by our president and his followers,” adding that “what we saw over the weekend is a manifestation of that anger.”

Trump has repeatedly referred to an “invasion” by immigrants and has made it a longtime campaign promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He also came under fire after he told a group of Democratic minority female congressmen earlier this year to "go back" to their home countries, despite that all four are U.S. citizens and only one was born abroad.

Similar language was also used by the suspected shooter in a deadly massacre in El Paso, Texas, in August who told police he was targeting "Mexicans" and confessed to carrying out the attack.

Updated Tuesday at 9:17 a.m.