Arrest made in brutal beating of 91-year-old man
Rodolfo Rodriguez was attacked by several people after reportedly bumping into a little girl on his daily walk in South Los Angeles.
Authorities have arrested a woman suspected of being involved in the assault of a 91-year-old man on the Fourth of July.
Detectives arrested Laquisha Jones at 10 p.m. Tuesday, near 60th Street and Crenshaw Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Jones, 30, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
For the record:
11:30 AM, Jul. 11, 2018An earlier version of this article said Rodolfo Rodriguez was 92. He is 91.
Rodolfo Rodriguez had gone out for a walk in Willowbrook about 7 p.m. on July 4 when he was assaulted, according to a GoFundMe campaign set up by his family. Rodriguez has a broken cheekbone and bruises on his face.
His family said a woman confronted Rodriguez after he reportedly bumped into a little girl who was with her. Rodriguez was then struck from behind, and “as he fell on the ground, he blacked out,” Sheriff’s Det. Matt Luna said.
Misbel Borjas, who lives near Rodriguez, was passing by in a car when she saw Rodriguez walking and trying to pass a woman and a girl. Then, Borjas said, she saw the woman push Rodriguez and start to hit him with a block of cement.
“She was yelling at him, ‘Go back to your country,’ or ‘Go back to Mexico,’” Borjas recalled. “It was racist.”
Rodriguez’s daughter, Aurelia Rodriguez, said her father recalls the woman screaming at him, but he didn’t understand what she was saying because he doesn’t speak or understand English.
Borjas was able to snap a photo of the woman, who began to walk away. Borjas said that as she was on the phone with 911, a few men returned to assault Rodolfo Rodriguez while he was on the ground.
Investigators are still determining whether there are more people involved, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The investigation is ongoing, and a motive for the assault “is unknown at this time,” the Sheriff’s Department said. A weapon has not been located.
Rodriguez was released from the hospital and has been recovering at home with his family. Over the last few days, he has been up and walking around, his daughter said.
Her father, who is originally from Michoacan, Mexico, is a lawful permanent resident. In the evenings, Rodriguez likes to walk to a nearby park and sit on the benches, in his long-settled routine in the neighborhood.
Rodriguez had planned to visit family in Mexico at the end of the week, but the trip has been canceled, his daughter said.
“We just ask that there’s justice,” Aurelia Rodriguez said. “A judge is going to decide what she will pay for what she did. I hope people know that they can’t just hit someone, insult someone, threaten someone — that if someone does something like this, they’re going to pay for it.”
The Sheriff’s Department obtained an arrest and search warrant for Jones.
“Due to working every angle and lead in the case, it ultimately resulted in the arrest,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Jones is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
“We want to thank the local residents for all of their kindness and support while Mr. Rodriguez recovers,” the Sheriff’s Department said.
7:45 a.m.: This article was updated with comments from Rodolfo Rodriguez’s daughter.
This article was originally published at 6:05 a.m.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.