The family of a missing man has filed police reports in the wake of his disappearance after he was attacked by two customers inside a downtown L.A. 7-Eleven where he had tried to end a racist rant targeting a store clerk.
Frankie Martinez, 59, was beaten last week in a crime captured on video at a 7-Eleven near Seventh and Olive Streets.
"I just want to make sure he's OK," said niece Gina Plascencia as she fought back tears in a Wednesday interview with KTLA.
Martinez was punched repeatedly after he told a female customer to "have some respect" when the woman unleashed a racist tirade against a clerk. The woman, apparently disappointed the clerk couldn't help her immediately, told the clerk to "go back to Mexico," and shouted and cursed at other customers.
"All he said is 'respect.' That was it," his sister Dahlia Martinez said. "That wasn't cause to be hit like that."
Family members said they have filed an assault and missing persons report with the Los Angeles Police Department, which is investigating the incident.
On Wednesday, family members passed out flyers on Skid Row in an effort to find Martinez, who they said is homeless and has not checked in with them recently.
The incident started when a female clerk told the still-unidentified female customer she needed to help a long line of other customers before she would be able to heat up the woman's food, witness Myra Olvera said in a previous interview with KTLA.
The customer then began to insult and berate the employee.
The woman yelled "Go back to Mexico," "You're fat" and "You're ugly," according to Olvera.
The woman, who was apparently black, also made comments like "f---ing Mexicans" to other customers in the store, Olvera said.
When Martinez told the woman to "have some respect," she turned on him, knocking his food out of his hands. A young man who was with her punched Martinez repeatedly, cellphone video recorded by Olvera showed.
Multiple other customers and at least two people dressed in security uniforms – one possibly a Los Angeles traffic officer – watched the attack. Nobody intervened.
Martinez, who family members said descended into alcoholism after the death of a beloved sister, hasn't been seen since.
Anyone who has information can contact the Los Angeles Police Department or leave an anonymous tip through L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.