MILWAUKEE -- A 61-year-old man accused of throwing acid on a Latino man’s face during a racist attack will undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he can assist in his criminal defense.
Clifton Blackwell’s lawyer asked for the evaluation during a Friday hearing in Milwaukee. Blackwell’s next court date is Nov. 25.
Clifton Blackwell faces one count of first-degree reckless injury, use of a dangerous weapon, hate crime.
Prosecutors said around 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 officers made contact with the victim, 42-year-old Mahud Villalaz, who is from Peru, according to court documents. A criminal complaint said he moved to the United States in 2001, and became a U.S. citizen in 2013.
Villalaz was transported to St. Mary's Hospital Burn Center for second-degree burns to his face, cheek, neck, and injuries to his left eye. A PH test revealed, "an acidic substance" caused the injuries. Police said his clothing was also burned by the acidic substance.
Villalaz told investigators he went to a restaurant at 13th and Cleveland that night. He said he parked in front of the restaurant and began walking towards the entrance when Blackwell approached -- telling Villalaz that he could not park there due to the nearby bus stop. Prosecutors said Blackwell asked Villalaz, "Why did you invade my country?" and "Why don't you respect my laws?" He then pulled a metal bottle from a bag on his side.
At this point, the complaint said Villalaz realized he was parked too close to the bus stop, so he returned to his truck and moved it to a different spot before walking back towards the restaurant. At this point, the complaint said Blackwell engaged the victim again, asking him, "Why did you invade my country?" Blackwell told Villalaz to "Go back -- go back (expletive)," calling Villalaz "an illegal."
Villalaz said he responded by calling Blackwell "a racist (expletive)," informing Blackwell that "everyone comes from somewhere first."
Blackwell then threw liquid from the container into Villalaz's face, the complaint said. He ran into the restaurant for help.
The complaint said a search warrant was executed at Blackwell's home, and investigators found "muriatic acid, Kleen-Out sulfuric acid, Kleen-Out drain opener (100% lye), and Parkerizing cleaner."
Blackwell made his initial appearance in court Wednesday, Nov. 6. In addition to the $20,000 cash bond, a 24-hour curfew was set. Blackwell was ordered to have no contact with the victim, acids, large batteries, or dangerous weapons.