MILWAUKEE -- It was a sickening and hateful act caught on camera on Milwaukee's south side -- which made national headlines. A man stands accused of dousing another man with acid -- and telling him to go back to his country.
Sources told FOX6 News Clifton Blackwell, 61, was the man seen in surveillance video throwing acid on Mahud Villalaz near 13th Street and Cleveland Avenue in Milwaukee on Friday night, Nov. 1. The Latino victim, who is a U.S. citizen, suffered second-degree burns after the attacker hurled insults and racially-charged remarks.
News of the attack spread across the country, with Blackwell's family learning of the accusations. Blackwell's brother, Arthur, spoke out Tuesday, Nov. 5.
"This is not the person I know as my own brother," said Arthur Blackwell. "That's a violent and pretty big reaction to the whole thing -- and it's like, if you need help, we have to get it to you."
The brother told FOX6 News Clifton was a Marine who was possibly suffering from PTSD.
"It's obvious my brother had done some wrong things -- and ultimately, he is going to have to pay for that and has to understand, too, he was not in a proper frame of mind to begin with," Arthur Blackwell said.
Suspected acid attack (Surveillance images courtesy: Hispanic News Network)
Acid attack near 13th and Harrison
Blackwell's brother showed deep concern for his sibling -- and sympathy for the 42-year-old victim of the attack.
"There is a lot, because he's been treated unfairly, so I understand his frustration and what's going on with him, as well," said Arthur Blackwell. "It's kind of a shock. All I can do is apologize for his behavior and try to get him real help that it's obvious he needs. This is a horrible thing, and maybe it is that my brother is better off incarcerated until he gets the help he needs."
As of Tuesday, Blackwell was being held on $10,000 bail. That could very well change as soon as Thursday.
This was also not the first violent incident Blackwell was connected to. In 2007, he was convicted of false imprisonment and intentionally pointing a firearm at a person.
Meanwhile, the Equal Rights Commission issued this statement Tuesday:
"Discrimination, bias, harassment, and hate crimes have no place in Milwaukee or Wisconsin."
"The City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission denounces the violent attack Friday night which left a man with second-degree burns."
"This repulsive act provides more evidence that harassers continue to offend in this toxic political climate, particularly targeting immigrant communities. Xenophobia and racism can inflame hate, often leading to harmful consequences. We must combat the divisive rhetoric and dangerous policies that dehumanize large swaths of the public."
"The ERC is committed to protect and help communities all around the city, regardless of ethnicity or immigration status. We will redouble our efforts with city departments and our community partners so that all residents know that Milwaukee has their back."