Christopher Marquez, a former Marine sergeant who was attacked in Washington, DC, earlier in February, has alleged the assault on him was racially motivated.
Marquez, an Iraq War veteran, was eating at a restaurant on Feb. 12 when the incident occurred, according to WUSA.
A 17-year-old male has been charged with aggravated assault, and a 17-year-old female with robbery. A third suspect is being sought.
“I'm telling this to everybody because it's been happening a lot around here and across our country," Marquez told Fox News show "Fox & Friends." "It was a hate crime. They targeted me because of my skin color. So, we're seeing a lot of these events of people being attacked because they're white. And I'm thinking we have to speak up more about this because it's just going to continue to happen.”
Marquez said he first noticed the group of teenagers when they disturbed him while he ate.
“The kids were asking me if I think that black lives mattered,” he told WUSA. “I was ignoring them, just because I felt intimidated. I felt how they approached me, it was very hostile. I felt they were really trying to intimidate me and just trying to start a confrontation with me.”
One of the teens called Marquez a “racist,” reports Fox News.
The restaurant manager said two teens then jumped Marquez as he left. The Marine was left unconscious, and woke up to find his wallet had been taken.
“I found it very ironic because the person calling me a racist was the actual racist. And, they have no idea about my background, what I did for this country, or what other people like myself do every day for this country,” he told Fox News.
Marquez thanked a taxi driver who took him home for free because he had lost all his money. His wallet contained $400 and three credit cards.
Someone set up a GoFundMe page to help cover Marquez’s medical bills, with an initial target of $40,000. That target was met within eight days.
“I am having problems with my memory and there are other issues,” Marquez told WUSA. “My speech was slurring and I was drooling; that got a lot better. I’m going to go on the regiment how they test people with traumatic brain injury from Iraq and Afghanistan and that can last anywhere from a few months to a year. You never know especially because my concussion was bad.”