Police investigate immigrant beating

October 14, 2009 3:30:58 PM PDT
A Mexican immigrant is in the hospital trying to recover from severe injuries. Police say he was beaten by 3 men after picking up food at a food pantry.

The attack happened in the same area of Bushwick where another Hispanic immigrant was killed.

A tearful Anna Gallardo tells Eyewitness News, she just hopes her husband, Mario Vera can pull through. "They really beat him up without cause...and I, as his wife, felt helpless, when he came home," she said.

Gallardo says it was back on September 23, that Vera left a food pantry at his church in lower Manhattan. Carrying his groceries, he biked across the Williamsburg Bridge and into Bushwick, where police say he was allegedly struck in the head, en thrown off his bike as three black males yelled anti-Mexican slurs.

After Vera stumbled home and collapsed, his wife took him to Woodull Hospital, where doctors sent him home with Tylenol, but his condition worsened and days later an MRI at Beth Israel hospital in Manhattan showed three blood clots and traumatic injury in his brain.

"My husband's condition is bad...They say he could come out of it quickly or it could take years," adds Gallardo.

Advocates for his family say this bias attack occurred only a few blocks away from another one last December, in which an Ecuadorian man was killed.

In that case, there were racial slurs as well and community leaders fear it stems from anger that has gone unchecked. Anger, police say over immigration status, even over some immigrants' hard work.

Anyone with information on the attack is asked to call police.

Web Produced By: Scott Curkin

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