GONZALES, La. (WVLA) - A Donaldsonville man has been arrested on hate crime charges following an altercation with a Latino family at a department store in Gonzales.
The incident took place Friday September 14 as a family of Latino descent was shopping at Boots Etc. on Hwy. 30 in Gonzales and a 19-year-old daughter was approached by 60 year old Robert Ray and told to "go back to Mexico."
Once confronted by the young woman's mother, Salome Martinez, she was subsequently pushed to the ground by Ray.
Alfredo Buitureira, the father of the 19- year old, was then assaulted by Ray as well hitting Buitureira in the face with his fist and boot. The following fight caused damaged to the rear of the store.
Mr. Buitureira is an American Marine.
“Not in my city, and not on my watch, will the City of Gonzales Police Department ever tolerate actions taken against people based upon their race, age, gender, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, or ancestry," said Chief of Police Sherman Jackson.
Due to the suspect’s statements that escalated this encounter, his comments clearly fall under Louisiana RS 14:107.2.”
Robert Ray has been arrested and charged with a hate crime, two counts of simple battery, and criminal damage to property.
He has been booked into the Ascension Parish Jail.