Mavericks member assaulted in Nashville, reportedly for speaking Spanish
Lorenzo Molina Ruiz, who plays horns in Tex-Mex country greats The Mavericks, was attacked in the Nashville area, along with a friend, over the weekend, reportedly for speaking Spanish. "It saddens us to no end to learn of the assault on our band mate, Lorenzo Molina and his friend & fellow musician Orlando Morales, reportedly for speaking Spanish amongst themselves in a public establishment," wrote Mavericks frontman Raul Malo in a statement on Tuesday. "For this assault to occur as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with our own performance (featuring Lorenzo) tonight on the Hispanic Heritage Awards, shows that although we’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go. America is better than this."
The incident happened late Saturday night / early Sunday morning at Tony's Eat & Drink in Franklin, TN. Molina started a GoFundMe for Morales' medical bills, writing, "We didn’t do anything to anybody and got beaten up badly. My friend is in bad shape. Any support would help while we proceed with getting justice for this hate crime."
Police released surveillance camera photos of the alleged assailants on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the department told The Tennessean that the men had come forward to be interviewed.
Tony's Eat & Drink, meanwhile, posted a statement, saying, "We would like to send our deepest condolences to the individuals affected by the altercation that occurred. We want to be clear that we do not support racism or condone hate crimes at our establishment and are taking this matter seriously. We do not nor have we ever allowed for violence to perpetuate for any reason and in this specific instance, our security staff acted quickly and reasonably to bring the altercation to an end."