An Iraq war veteran whose bravery inspired two statues says he was beaten by a group of teens in Washington, DC on Friday night after they approached and asked him whether ‘black lives matter’.
Chris Marquez, 30, a decorated US Marine veteran, was eating in a McDonald’s when the youths walked up and started questioning him, WJLA reported.
‘I felt threatened and thought they were trying to intimidate me, so I figured I’m just going to keep to my food, eat my food and hopefully they’ll leave me alone,’ Marquez told the station.
The youths started calling him a racist, he said, but it was when he tried to leave the restaurant that things went badly for him.
The marine, who had survived ambushes in Fallujah at the height of the Iraq War, was taken unaware again — and this time he was unarmed and without backup.
One of the teens hit him in the head him from behind, knocking him to the floor, where the gang beat him savagely before robbing him. Marquez told police that one youth hit him in the head with a handgun.
‘As soon as I walked out of the McDonald’s I got hit in the back of the head, or the side of the head,’ he told WJLA. ‘I just dropped to the ground, and [the McDonald’s manager] says I looked unconscious.’
The veteran believes that the attack was a hate crime, and that he was targeted because he was white.
‘I believe this was a hate crime and I was targeted because of my skin color,’ he told The Daily Caller.
Read more: Daily Mail