A GoFundMe page has raised $20,000 for a decorated Marine veteran who was brutally mugged and beaten last week in a Washington D.C. McDonald’s restaurant.
Former Sgt. Christopher Marquez, who earned a Bronze Star in Iraq and was one of two Marines who helped carry then-1st Sgt. Bradley Kasal out of Fallujah’s infamous “Hell House,” told police that he remembers being approached by a group of five people between the age of 16 and 21. He believes the attack was racially motivated.
“The kids were asking me if I think that black lives mattered,” Marquez said, according to USA Today. “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.”
Surveillance footage from the restaurant shows one of the assailants hit Marquez on the back of the head as he attempts to leave the fast food restaurant.
“It was a sharp blow to the back of my head,” Marquez said, who added that his memory became hazy after that.
The suspects then purportedly took Marquez’ wallet, identification, credit cards, debit card and about $400 in cash, he said. $115 in charges were also made on his USAA debit card after the incident.
When he came to, Marquez made his way and met police to report the crime. He then spent several hours at George Washington University Hospital being examined for head trauma. He is waiting on a replacement identification card so that he can be seen by VA doctors for follow-ups.
After hearing about Marquez’s plight, Danny Amoruccio – a retired funeral director from Connecticut – set-up the GoFundMe page to raise the $400 that was stolen from Marquez’s wallet.
“I find this to be an outrage and absolute disgusting situation our country is facing today,” Amoruccio wrote on the GoFundMe page. “And it needs to stop! My heart went out to him and the least we can do as Americans is help him, as he helped to keep U.S. safe.
In the five days since he began the page – and with a little help from Fox & Friends – 492 people have donated over $20,000.
Marquez, who faced some of the fiercest fighting of the Iraq War while deployed in Fallujah, said he is angry that after surviving the war he was attacked in the U.S.
“We’re there to protect our country so that people … don’t have to be scared of getting killed or being attacked," he said. “We’re all Americans, especially in the military. We serve with people from all backgrounds. It seems like there is so much tension right now. ... It’s very sad.”