In a social media post, the Grammy-winning band claims Ruiz and a friend, fellow musician Orlando Morales, were attacked on Sunday, October 4 after they were overheard speaking Spanish.
“It saddens us to no end to learn of the assault on our bandmate Lorenzo Molina, and his friend & fellow musician Orlando Morales, reportedly for speaking Spanish amongst themselves in a public establishment. For this assault to occur as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month,” according to a tweet shared with photos on Tuesday.
In a post on Instagram, Betty Malo, wife of bandleader Raul Malo, writes that Ruiz and his pal were waiting in line for the restroom at Tony’s Eat & Drink when two men approached them to “speak f**king English, you’re in America”.
“The bar… did nothing about it. They actually kicked Lorenzo out and his friend,” Malo adds. “They begged for help or at least for the bar to call the police but the bouncers refused and threaten to beat their a**es if they didn’t leave (sic).”
“Lorenzo is fine but his friend Orlando is horrifically hurt. He has a broken nose, orbital bones, internal bleeding, and concussion. They filed a police report but it still has not been posted online.”
Malo reveals the band’s lawyers are looking to file legal action “to hold the group of racist individuals accountable”.
She adds: “Tony’s Eat and Drink are complicit too. Shame on you. We will be setting up a #gofundme account for both Lorenzo and Orlando. I’m terrified! @the_mavericks just put out a Latin record! Is @raulmalo01 going to get beat up for singing in Spanish? Will the venue let the assailants get away with it? Ugh! This sucks!”.
A representative for The Mavericks confirms a statement about the incident will be forthcoming, meanwhile, Ruiz adds: “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.”
A spokesman for Tony’s Eat & Drink has released a statement via social media, calling the incident “an unfortunate event”.
“We would like to send our deepest condolences to the individuals affected by the altercation that occurred,” the statement reads. “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… We do not condone bad actions.”
Ruiz is a member of The Mavericks’ backing band, The Fantastic Five. He also appears on the group’s new Spanish-language album En Español. A GoFundMe page has been setup to help Ruiz and Morales.
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