Rodolfo Rodriguez, 92, set out about 8 p.m. on Independence Day on his regular evening walk around his Los Angeles neighborhood, relatives told KTLA. But what happened next was anything but routine.
When Rodriguez bumped into a young girl while trying to pass her on the sidewalk near his home, the toddler’s mother shoved him to the ground and beat him in the face with a brick, police told the station.
After a passer-by stopped to record the incident on video and call police, four men ran up and began kicking Rodriguez while the child’s mother shouted at him, reported KCBS.
“Go back to your country, why are you here, bad things,” the witness said the mother told Rodriguez, who is a legal U.S. resident, according to the station.
Rodriguez, who doesn’t understand English, still has no idea why he was attacked, his grandson, Erik Mendoza, told KCBS.
Rodriguez suffered broken ribs and a broken cheekbone, and has bruises all over his body, reported KNBC.
“Who would do this to anybody?” Mendoza told the station. “A 92-year-old senior citizen, what can he do to anybody? There’s no harm that he meant.”
Los Angeles sheriff’s investigators have reviewed the video shot by the witness and are seeking the five people who attacked Rodriguez, reported KTLA.
“We are concerned, especially with the type of crime they committed,” Deputy D’Angelo Robinson told the station. “There was what appears to be a 4-year-old child there who witnessed the entire thing. We can’t have these kind of people like that out in the streets.”
A GoFundMe account has been established to help pay Rodriguez’s medical costs. The drive had raised more than $25,000 of its original $15,000 goal by Sunday morning.