By Steve Birr
Police on Monday arrested two juveniles for their assault on a decorated Marine in a Washington, D.C. McDonald’s, but have yet to charge either with a hate crime.
Chris Marquez, a decorated Marine veteran, was followed out of McDonald’s and assaulted by a person brandishing a handgun February 12 following a verbal altercation in which Marquez was called a racist.
The Metropolitan Police Department confirmed in a press release the arrests of two 17-year-old black juveniles Monday, one male, one female, for the attack. They were charged with aggravated assault and robbery, respectively. They have not yet been charged with a hate crime, but the investigation is ongoing.
“I am glad two suspects have been arrested, but I am deeply disappointed they have not been charged with a hate crime yet,” Marquez told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Not prosecuting this as a hate crime will only encourage more hate crimes against white people and create further division in this great country.”
Marquez said that prior to the assault he was harassed by a group of black teenagers who allegedly asked him “do you believe black lives matter?” By his own account, when he declined to engage them they started calling him a racist. As he walked out the entrance he was followed, whipped in the head with a handgun and robbed by a number of individuals who took his identification, credit cards and cash and continued to kick him as he lay unconscious on the pavement.
As he walked out the entrance, he was followed, whipped in the head with a handgun and robbed by a number of individuals who took his identification, credit cards and cash and continued to kick him as he lay unconscious on the pavement.
Marquez said he believes the attack was clearly motivated by race and wishes that black leaders would speak out to condemn such violence.
“President Obama and leaders of the black community need to condemn these racially-motivated acts of violence if they really care about unity and starting a legitimate conversation on race,” Marquez told TheDCNF. “So far it has been a very one-sided conversation that mainly depicts the white community negatively.”
Marquez said Monday that he is upset to see such division along racial lines in this country. Speaking firsthand from his eight years of active service in Iraq and Afghanistan, Marquez says he has seen what division along racial and cultural lines does to countries.
The decorated Marine, a recipient of the Bronze Star for valor, ultimately hopes his attackers can reform their ways and learn from their mistakes.
Marquez told TheDCNF, “I want to let people know that I forgive the people that brutally attacked me and hope they can change their ways and one day become productive citizens of society.”
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