A woman who allegedly used a block of concrete to repeatedly beat a 91-year-old grandfather in Willowbrook on the Fourth of July was charged Thursday with attempted murder and elder abuse.
Laquisha Jones, 30, of Los Angeles pleaded not guilty at her arraignment at the Compton courthouse in connection with the beating of Rodolfo Rodriguez near East 118th and Robin Streets. She is due back in court July 26.
The aftermath of the Fourth of July attack was captured on cell phone video that shows Rodriguez on the ground, with blood covering much of his face.
Rodriguez, who told CNN he is 91 years old and will turn 92 in September, was visiting from Mexico and was taking an evening walk around the neighborhood on Independence Day. He said he passed the woman and a small child, and then the woman attacked him without provocation.
“I didn’t even bump into her kid,” Rodriguez told CNN. “I just passed her and she pushed me and she hit me until she was done.”
A woman who witnessed the attack told CNN she heard the woman telling the victim “go back to your country, go back to Mexico.”
“When I tried to videotape her with my cell phone, she threw that same concrete block, tried to hit my car,” said Misbel Borjas, who managed to snap a photo of the woman showing her still holding the piece of concrete.
Despite Borjas’ account, sheriff’s investigators said Wednesday that while they have not identified a motive for the attack, it was not believed to have been a hate crime.
“Through their investigation Century Station detectives have discovered that this is not a hate-related incident,” according to the sheriff’s department.
Rodriguez said he heard his attacker tell a group of men standing nearby that he had tried to grab her daughter — which he denies — prompting the men to kick him when he was on the ground.
Authorities are still working to determine if there were other suspects involved.
Rodriguez has since been released from a hospital and is recovering at his family’s home. He suffered several broken bones, including a shattered jaw and a pair of broken ribs, and a GoFundMe page established by his family has raised more than $310,000.
Jones was arrested Tuesday night near 60th Street and Crenshaw Avenue. She has remained behind bars since then.
The charges against Jones include the allegations that she personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon — a brick; that she committed great bodily injury upon the victim; and that she has a 2017 conviction for making criminal threats.
She could face up to 29 years in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney’s Office.