The Latest: Acid attack victim glad for hate crime charge

The Latest: Acid attack victim glad for hate crime charge

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — The latest on a white Milwaukee man being charged with a hate crime for allegedly throwing acid on a Hispanic man's face (all times local):

4:55 p.m.

The Hispanic man who had acid thrown on his face says he's pleased Milwaukee prosecutors charged the white man suspected of the attack with a hate crime.

Mahud Villalaz said Wednesday he was thankful for "the people that have worried about me" and that he's feeling better. He said Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin called him to say she was "very sad" about what happened and offered to help however she can.

Villalaz made the comments just as 61-year-old Clinton Blackwell appeared in court for the first time to be advised of the first-degree reckless injury charge he faces. Prosecutors added hate crime and use of a dangerous weapon as sentencing enhancers that could increase his punishment if convicted.

Blackwell's bond was set at $20,000, conditioned upon him wearing an electronic monitoring device. His public defender did not immediately return a call.


2 p.m.

Milwaukee prosecutors have charged a 61-year-old man with a hate crime for allegedly throwing battery acid on a Hispanic man's face.

The decision Wednesday from prosecutors means Clifton Blackwell could face an enhanced sentence if convicted of the charge of first-degree reckless injury. Prosecutors added the sentencing enhancers of hate crime and use of a dangerous weapon.

Mahud Villalaz suffered second-degree burns to his face Friday night when he says Blackwell confronted him over the way he parked near a restaurant. Villalaz says Blackwell threw acid at him after accusing him of being in the U.S. illegally and asking him why he was invading the country.

Villalaz is a U.S. citizen who immigrated from Peru.


11:30 a.m.

Milwaukee's district attorney says he's considering hate crime charges against a 61-year-old white man suspected of splashing battery acid on a Hispanic man's face.

John Chisholm told Wisconsin Public Radio in an interview Wednesday morning that his office anticipates filing charges later in the day against Clifton Blackwell, the suspect in Friday night's acid attack.

The victim, Mahud Villalaz, says his attacker approached him near a restaurant and accused him of being in the country illegally before asking why he was "invading" the U.S.

Surveillance video from the restaurant recorded the attack.

Chisholm says his office is looking to determine whether the attack was motivated "in whole or in part" based on the victim's race. Treating the case as a hate crime would enhance the possible sentence for the attack.

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