Decorated Marine says he was beaten, robbed in racial attack

WASHINGTON — A decorated Marine says he was surrounded, harassed, beaten and robbed in a downtown McDonald’s in a racially-motivated attack.

Christopher Marquez told police he was sitting by himself, eating a meal in the restaurant at 9th and E Streets NW Friday night, when a group of at least four teenagers and young adults gathered around his table.

He says the group loudly asked if he believes “black lives matter” and called him racist when he ignored the comments.

In the police report, Marquez says he was struck in the head with something hard, and robbed of his wallet, which contained $400 in cash and his bank cards.

Late Thursday morning, D. C. police released surveillance video from the McDonald’s.

The video shows a young man slug Marquez in the back of the head as Marquez leaves the restaurant about 9:40 p.m. While he’s on the ground, someone takes his wallet. Others kick him.

The police video highlights three suspects — two male, and one female.

Passers-by and people standing on the sidewalk apparently witnessed the attack and the aftermath.

The silent police video, posted on YouTube, doesn’t mention racial motivation. Instead, it refers to the incident as “aggravated assault and robbery (Pickpocket).”

Marquez was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004, in which he risked his life to drag his wounded team leader away from enemy fire.

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