61-year-old man accused in Milwaukee acid attack charged with hate crime
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The 61-year-old man accused of throwing acid on a South Milwaukee man, has been charged with a hate crime.
Clifton Blackwell made his first court appearance on Wednesday, Nov. 6, where his bail was set at $20,000 cash.
Blackwell is accused of throwing acid on Muhad Villalaz near 13th and Cleveland on Friday, Nov. 1.
According to a criminal complaint, Blackwell confronted Villalaz about parking too close to a bus stop, and then argued with him again after the victim moved his car.
Villalaz saed Blackwell called him “illegal,” and asked him “Why did you invade my country?"
Villalaz told police he called Blackwell racist and then the acid was thrown on him.
The attack was captured on surveillance video.
"When that happens I think it's important to note this doesn't threaten the Latino community this threatens the community, this threatens our community," said Craig Mastantuono, an attorney for Mahud Villalaz.
Villalaz says he's happy with the charges.
"I'm very pleased for what has happened now, I feel relieved and I just wanna move on," said Villalaz.
"We fully expect to have access to that and to determine whether or not there are white supremacists and white nationalists that are out there actively promoting this kind of terrorist activity," said Mark Thomsen, Villalaz's attorney.
Villalaz's 2nd degree burns will take at least two more weeks to heal, and even though Blackwell's alleged actions showed him the ugliness in humanity, the attack has also brought Villalaz an outpouring of love and support from all over the country.
"I'm really glad to know there's a lot of good people out there, caring about other people," adds Villalaz.
As the investigation moves forward, Hispanic non-profit group Forward Latino wants the community to report any signs of discrimination.
"If witnesses see somebody that they believe to have extremist views, it's better to be safe than sorry, please call the FBI Hotline," said Darryl Morin, President of Forward Latino.