A decorated U.S. Marine veteran, whose actions inspired an iconic war memorial, was assaulted from behind shortly after teenagers asked him about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Christopher Marquez was trying to eat a meal at McDonald’s last Friday in Washington, D.C., when a group of teenagers approached him. They asked “Do you believe black lives matter?” before ambushing him. The Bronze Star recipient was knocked unconscious and robbed of $400, a VA medical card, three credit cards and other belongings.
“I remember this group of teens harassing me while I was eating. They surrounded my table and kept on asking me, ‘Do you believe black lives matter?'” Marquez told the Daily Caller on Monday. “Then they started calling me a racist. I can’t recall if they were saying anything else to me at this moment because the blow to my head really screwed up my memory.”
McDonald’s manager DeAnthony Mason told the veteran his fears were confirmed by security footage, the website reported. A teenager wearing a white shirt knocked Marquez unconscious before others swooped in to take his belongings.
The criminals who took Marquez’s money spent it in a liquor store, a Five Guys restaurant and a Walmart, bank transactions showed. Mason said police were already looking for the group for it connection to a separate incident.
“I believe this was a hate crime and I was targeted because of my skin color,” Marquez said. “Too many of these types of attacks have been happening against white people by members of the black community and the majority of the mainstream media refuses to report on it.”
Medical documents obtained by the Daily Caller show Marquez, now a student at American University, was treated at George Washington Hospital for head trauma and an eye contusion.
“When I was in the Marine Corps, I served with people from many different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, and races,” Marquez said. “Like all Marines, I fought for the freedom of all Americans and not just one particular group.”
Marquez, who served eight years on active duty between 2003 and 2011, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. His bravery during the Battle of Fallujah helped inspire the iconic war memorial “No Man Left Behind” at Camp Pendleton, California.
Marine Sgt. Maj. Brad Kasal (then a 1st Sgt.) was injured during a 2004 firefight in Fallujah’s “Hell House” when lance corporals Chris Marquez and Dane Shaffer came to his aide. The image of the three marines, with Kasal tightly gripping his 9-millimeter Beretta and K-bar knife, went viral.
“No Man Left Behind” was unveiled in November 2015. It was sculpted by Wyoming artist and Vietnam veteran John Phelps.