A 30-year-old woman has been arrested in the vicious Fourth of July beating of a man in his 90s who was walking in the Willowbrook neighborhood of South Los Angeles, authorities announced Wednesday, saying the incident was not "hate related."
Laquisha Jones, a resident of L.A., was taken into custody without incident near 60th Street and Crenshaw Avenue about 10 p.m. Tuesday, after investigators obtained search and arrest warrants, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release.
Jones has been booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $200,000 bail, the Sheriff’s Department stated. Her booking photo is not being released, authorities said.
Jones was allegedly involved in the assault on Rodolfo Rodriguez in the area of 118th Street and Robin Street in Willowbrook, an unincorporated area of L.A. County.
Investigators initially believed Rodriguez may have bumped into a young girl who was with Jones, prompting her to assault him. But Rodriguez denies ever bumping into the little girl and says he was beaten with a concrete block.
“I just passed her and she pushed me and she hit me until she was done,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez had a broken jaw, broken cheekbones, two broken ribs and bruises on his face, back and abdomen, his family told CNN. He had traveled from Michoacan, Mexico, to visit his family, his grandson Erik Mendoza said.
“We’re thankful to the police because they moved on it, and they did their job,” Rodriguez's daughter, Aurelia Rodriguez, told KTLA Wednesday evening.
A witness to the attack told CNN she saw a woman striking Rodriguez with the block and overheard her saying, “Go back to your country. Go back to Mexico.”
But detectives have determined through the investigation that the beating was "not a hate related incident," according to the release. The weapon has not been located, authorities said.
The witness, Misbel Borjas, recorded graphic video after the assault and also captured an image of a woman — whom the Sheriff's Department confirmed investigators were looking for.
Rodriguez, who said he will turn 92 in September, has never been hurt like this, he stated. (Family members earlier said Rodriguez was already 92, and the Sheriff's Department is calling him 92.)
A GoFundMe campaign created for Rodriguez last week had raised nearly $300,000 by Wednesday afternoon.
Detectives are trying to determine if there are more suspects involved in the case, according to the news release. Immediately following the attack, authorities said there may have been four men involved in the incident, but they didn't provide any detailed suspect descriptions.
No court date had been set for Jones, inmate records showed.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 323-890-5500. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call 800-222-8477.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated a suspected weapon had been found. In fact, authorities said the weapon had not been found. The story has been updated.