MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man accused of throwing acid in another man's face in 2019 testified at trial on Tuesday.
Clifton Blackwell, 64, is charged with first-degree reckless injury with use of a dangerous weapon and hate crime modifiers.
Blackwell testified he was waiting for the bus when Mahud Villalaz parked his truck near 13th and Cleveland. Worried the bus wouldn't see him, he says he asked Villalaz to move his truck. Blackwell testified he believes Villalaz was parked illegally in the bus zone.
"I said, why don't you obey the laws of my country, of this country?" Blackwell testified.
Blackwell testified Villalaz approached him. That's when Blackwell says he pulled out a can of drain cleaner, which he says he uses for protection.
Video shows they engage in conversation, and then Villalaz goes to move his truck. Video also shows he returns to talk to Blackwell.
"I sprayed a small amount of acid, just a swash," Blackwell testified.
Villalaz suffered second degree burns and testified previously he spent two days in the hospital.
Earlier Tuesday, defense attorneys asked Villalaz during cross examination why he returned to speak with Blackwell after moving his car.
- Acid attack: Victim recovering, moving forward following alleged hate crime in Milwaukee
- Suspect in battery acid attack charged with a hate crime
"Why would you step closer to someone other than to intimidate them?" defense attorney Michael Plaisted asked.
"He was talking to me," Villalaz responded.
He testified Blackwell made racist statements toward him.
The defense attorney focused on the Villalaz's movements just before he was sprayed.
"That's when you pretended you were going to punch him?" Plaisted asked.
"No, I never pretended that I tried to punch him any time" Villalaz responded. "I flinched. There's a really big difference."