Police are investigating a possible hate crime, after a Mexican restaurant worker was attacked in Port Richmond, Staten Island this week.
As of late Friday, Alejandro Galindo, 52, was still hospitalized with a broken eye socket.
Police say he was walking alone on Forest Avenue when he was approached by three black men on Thursday morning in Port Richmond.
One of the men suddenly punched him in the right side of his face, and Galindo told police the alleged attacker yelled slurs about his Mexican heritage.
Galindo waited to report the incident until police say his daughters found in him bed with blood in and around his right eye. He was taken to Richmond University Medical Center’s surgical intense care unit where he was given 10 stitches above his right eye.
A neighbor convinced the family to report the assault to police. The attacker took off without taking Galindo‘s cell phone, watch, bicycle or $100 in his pocket.
"It’s racism. Even though all the people who are against us deny it, you can see that it’s totally racism because they didn’t steal anything. Treating us like we are a game just to have fun, that’s not fair," said Genoveva Galindo, the victim’s daughter, through an interpreter.
Galindo, who is from Oaxaca, Mexico and has been in the United States for the last 13 years, is in critical condition and may need additional surgery.
New York City Police Department officials say their Hate Crimes Task Force is currently investigating the incident, along with three other recent attacks against Mexican immigrants that have occurred in Port Richmond since April.
"It’s very bad for the community. This is not the first time, the second. It’s so many times, people [are] very scared," said activist Patricia Suarez of Make The Road New York.
The first incident involved 26 year-old Mexican-born baker Rodolfo Olmedo. Surveillance video shows four teenaged boys beating him with two-by-fours, and despite claims that the attackers shouted anti-Mexican slurs against him, a grand jury did not believe there was enough evidence to charge the suspects with a hate crime.
Community leaders have been hosting racial dialogues within the community to promote tolerance and working with the NYPD and the U.S. Department of Justice. They say this recent attack has them scratching their heads for a solution to this problem.
"We were working very hard so that there wouldn’t be a fourth crime, that’s for certain," said community activist Terry Troia. "We have interracial dialogues going on, we have a big community forum planned for July 15, we have youth on the street talking to other youth, we have outreach going on, we have ‘safety cards,’ saying, ‘Walk two by two at night.’ So I try."
"We feel frightened, because we never thought that would happen to our dad," said Genoveva Galindo through an interpreter.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.