AP NEWS

The Latest: Suspect in acid attack a veteran, suffered PTSD

November 5, 2019

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Latest on an acid attack on a man in Milwaukee (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

A man suspected of throwing acid on another man in Milwaukee has been identified as a military veteran, with family members saying he suffered from post-traumatic stress.

Police haven’t identified the man, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says he is 61-year-old Clifton A. Blackwell. The paper cited police arrest records and reported his mother Jacqueline Blackwell said her son has been under the care of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Milwaukee.

His brother, 63-year-old Arthur Blackwell of Evergreen, Colorado, told The Associated Press on Monday that Blackwell “was not a confrontational person.” He says his brother served nearly four years in the U.S. Marines.

State court records show Blackwell was convicted in a 2006 Rusk County case of false imprisonment and pointing a gun at a person. Details aren’t available online, but the Journal Sentinel reported the case involved Blackwell confronting men who had come onto his farm property tracking a deer.

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11 a.m.

The mayor of Milwaukee says an acid attack on a Latino American citizen is a horrific hate crime that should never have occurred.

Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett said Monday that he looks at the crime in the context of the current political climate in the country in which President Donald Trump “seems to try to create more division” among citizens.

Mahud Villalaz suffered second-degree burns to his face after he was confronted by a man outside a restaurant Friday night who he says told him he didn’t belong in the country and threw acid from a container.

Surveillance video shows Villalaz stumbling away from the suspect, who police say is white.

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6:23 a.m.

Milwaukee police have made an arrest after a man was attacked and burned with acid in what officials say is a hate crime.

Mahud Villalaz suffered second-degree burns to his face after he was confronted by a man he says accused him of being in the country illegally. Villalaz, a U.S. citizen and Latino, says the man approached him in front of a restaurant Friday night, told him he didn’t belong in the country and threw acid from a container on him.

Surveillance video shows Villalaz stumbling away from the suspect, who police say is white.

Alderman Jose Perez said in a statement that police investigated the incident as a hate crime, which he called a “heinous” act of “senseless violence.”

Villalaz was treated at a hospital and released.