Clifton Blackwell, a 61-year-old military veteran, has been identified as the suspect in a battery acid attack in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Friday, November 1. Blackwell is accused of throwing acid in the face of 42-year-old Mahud Villalaz, a United States citizen of Peruvian descent, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Villalaz was left with serious facial injuries as a result of the attack.
Approximately 24 hours after the attack which was captured on video, Milwaukee police announced they “arrested a 61-year-old male on Saturday, November 2, 2019, in connection to an aggravated battery that occurred on Friday, November 1, 2019, in the area of 13th / Cleveland. Charges will be brought forward to the DA’s office in the next couple of days.”
Blackwell reportedly called Villalaz “illegal” before throwing the acid in his face.
#BREAKING – Video shows the moment a man was hit with battery acid. Police arrested the culprit & call it a hate crime because the victim, who is Latino, says before he was hit by the white male suspect he called him “illegal” STORY: https://t.co/WAiX44Sx9d pic.twitter.com/pb2agxS6Go
— Chernéy Amhara (@CherneyAmharaTV) November 3, 2019
Here is a look at the injuries suffered in the attack:
Blackwell is no stranger to the criminal system. He was previously convicted of “pointing a firearm at a hunter during a citizen’s arrest during deer hunting season.” For that incident, Blackwell, who is being treated by the VA, was charged with felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor intentionally pointing a firearm at another person.
While formal charges for the acid attack have not been announced, Milwaukee Alderman Jose Perez shared his belief that the attack was a hate crime.
“The acid attack last night near 13th and Cleveland was a heinous crime that will have a long-term impact on the life of the victim,” Perez wrote in the statement. “This was senseless violence and it needs to stop. We as a community need to come together to work through our differences and learn to respect one another and diffuse conflict.”
— MKE Common Council (@MKE_CC) November 2, 2019
That is all the information that is available at this time. This article will be updated with new and relevant information should it become available at any time. If there is anything that we missed, please feel free to send an email to [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible.