A Colombian-Canadian family was in a shopping mall in St. Thomas, Ontario, when a man carrying a baseball bat approached Sergio Estepa, the father, and demanded to see what was in his pockets. The man with the baseball bat became angry when Estepa refused, and that’s when things escalated. The man began to claim that the family were ‘French terrorists” despite the fact that they were speaking Spanish and being attacked.
A man was caught on camera attacking a Colombian-Canadian family in a mall parking lot.
According to the caption on the video, the man tried to attack the couple’s 13-year-old son but Estepa stepped in the way to protect the teenager. A woman can be heard screaming in the background as the man, identified as 36-year-old Mark Phillips, beat Estepa. Estepa’s partner Mari Zambrano posted the video to Instagram.
During the attack, Phillips can be heard screaming, “You better get the f*ck out of here, Frenchie. You better get out of here. Terrorists! Terrorists! We got terrorists here! We got French terrorists! Terrorists! Terrorists! We got terrorists! ISIS! ISIS!”
Estepa is recovering from a broken rib and multiple severe bruises on his back. According to CBC, only one person in the busy mall parking lot offered to give a statement to the police and it was the principal of their son’s former pre-school. The indifference of those who witnessed the attack is what bothers the family most, especially considering they fled Colombia to escape violence. According to their interview with CBC, the parents had recently talked with their son about stepping up to help people who are being attacked or bullied.
“The reason why we came to Canada is because we lost our country Colombia because of indifference,” Estepa told CBC. “The war was in the countryside. We live in the city. We don’t care who is killed there. That is the big enemy we have: indifference.”
Estepa added: “It’s not this city, it’s not this country. It’s a person with mental [issues]. But try not to be indifferent. Try to help people.”
Phillips was arrested just hours after the attack in London, Ontario, and is being held in the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre. He made an appearance before a judge via a video stream on Monday and will be making another appearance on Friday. Phillips was denied.
We’re pretty sure this latest incident is our country’s newest low.
According to The New York Post, a 35-year-old New Jersey woman by the name of Beronica Ruiz was beaten until she was unconscious by a 13-year old boy who bullied her son.
According to reports, the day before the beating, Ruiz had filed a former complaint about her son’s tormenter and his alleged harassment of her son.
Her son, whose name is being kept private because he is a minor, claimed that he was bullied by the 13-year-old on June 18. At the time, Ruiz’s son said that the bully and a few other boys had chanted “Mexicans should go back behind the wall” to him other boys in the cafeteria.
In response, the Ruiz family’s lawyer, Daniel Santiago, says that her son replied: “We all come from immigrants.”
When Ruiz’s son received further threats from the students, he became fearful for his safety and reported the incident to a teacher who sequestered him from the other boys.
Attempts to notify Ruiz’s parents about the incident did not happen.
Santiago says that she did not find out about the incident until her son came home and he told her that he was too afraid to go to school the next day.
According to the Washington Post Ruiz and her husband returned to the school that evening and complained to the school’s assistant vice principal that they had not been alerted of the events. Santiago says that the vice principle replied that he had simply forgotten to call them.
“That’s a woefully inadequate response,” Santiago said. “’My bad’ is not a good excuse for not calling (the parents), not telling them.”
Ruiz picked up her son from school the day after the incident in the cafeteria happened.
She walked him home while pushing her 1-year-old daughter in a stroller. When they were just a few blocks away from the school, Ruiz’s son alerted his mother that they were being followed by the boys who had bullied him the previous day in the cafeteria. Soon after, the 13-year-old boy allegedly attacked Ruiz and her son. First, he punched Ruiz’s son in the face and then when the mother attempted to intervene he punched and “threw her to the ground” which caused her to lose consciousness.
This was a brutal hate crime, and it was committed by a 13-year-old,” Santiago said. “I don’t know what circumstances could give rise to a 13-year-old boy having such hate in his heart that he would commit this brutal attack and leave a woman essentially to die in front of her children without any remorse or any twinge of conscience.”
Ruiz was hospitalized for two days after the alleged attack.
Pictures of Ruiz’s face are brutal. In a photo circulating online, Ruiz’s face is marked with bruises and her eye is visible injured. She reportedly suffered from facial fractures and a concussion.
Earlier this week, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office announced that the 13-year-old bully, who fled the scene, had been arrested. He has been charged and faces one count of aggravated assault and one count of simple assault.
According to Santiago, the 13-year-old returned to the school the day after the attack.
Meanwhile, Ruiz and her husband are Mexican and in the United States awaiting green cards while holding work permits. Both of their children were born here and are American citizens.
Santiago says that he doesn’t “know that a child is able to fully understand and comprehend the implications of his words and saying things like ‘You should go back to Mexico… But this was clearly generated from hatred, and clearly, this young man has a great deal of anger in his heart, and that’s sad for a whole other list of reasons.”
Colombian dancer and choreographer Sergio Trujillo has lived a life, and it’s getting more colorful. The artist won his first Tony award last weekend and took his stage moment to thank his cast, his husband, and to come out as a formerly undocumented immigrant.
This isn’t just a story about an immigrant who has made spectacular contributions to American culture and art. Trujillo wants other dreamers to know that, despite the political climate, they should keep fighting for their dreams. Anything’s possible.
Trujillo first dedicated his award “to my Colombian family who had taught me to love music and dance since I was a little boy.”
As Trujillo stepped up to the mic to make his acceptance speech, he literally jumped up and down on the stage. “I’m so lucky,” he began. “There are so many people I love in my life.” He specifically thanked his mother and siblings in Spanish and continued his speech in English.
“I arrived in New York City over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.”
“I didn’t just show up yesterday,” he announced. “I arrived in NYC over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.” Trujillo later told AP News that his announcement felt like he was coming out as a gay man all over again.
Only his husband, family, and close friends knew about his immigration story.
He opened up about the internalized shame he still carries from living in the U.S. without papers. “One keeps it so deep inside, it’s like a secret that one must maintain. So when I talk about it I still feel guilty, like I’m doing something wrong,” he told AP.
Trujillo felt called to use his platform to send a message of hope to the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
“I stand here as proof,” he said to an audience giving him a standing ovation. “For all those dreamers, I want you to hear this. The American dream is still alive. You just have to keep on fighting because change will come.”
Trujillo quickly code-switched and concluded with a rallying call in Spanish.
“For all those who are listening, I want you to know that if I, Sergio Trujillo, born in Cali, Colombia, can win this moment, so can you. You can do it.”
Trujillo’s family moved from Cali, Colombia to Canada when he was 12 years old.
They lived there illegally for a few years until they were granted amnesty. He then crossed the Canadian border with his Colombian passport and stayed illegally for ten more years until he was granted citizenship.
He studied biochemistry at the University of Toronto until he quit to try his luck on Broadway.
He lived at friends’ houses, took dance classes and auditioned. Once he started being hired to perform in Broadway shows, he was able to get temporary visas.
Trujillo’s hard work has certainly paid off.
While he hasn’t publicly spoken about this very long chapter of his life–one which necessitated his success–he told AP that “now, more than ever, is the perfect time to talk about that.” Trujillo doesn’t anticipate dancing at the White House anytime soon.
In 2014, four Broadway shows, all choreographed by him, were playing at the same time.
Trujillo first started out as a dancer on Broadway and worked up to become a choreographer. He’s also won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Memphis in 2015.
His first Tony is for Best Choreography for Ain’t Too Proud.
The Broadway musical is based on the lives of The Temptations. As the Chicago White Sox owner is seeking to commemorate the organized burning of disco and soul music created by Black and Latinx artists, this commemoration of The Temptations is more important than ever.
His first Tony nomination was for his work on On Your Feet!–the Broadway depiction of the lives of the Estefans.
In an Instagram post, the infamous Gloria Estefan congratulated Trujillo, “CONGRATULATIONS to the wonderful @sergiotrujillo1 who was nominated previously for our musical, @onyourfeetbway and last night won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography for @AintTooProud. #TonyAwards This is SO well deserved and it’s about time, baby!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”
His name has also graced the Broadway production of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.
His work on that production earned him a 2018 Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography. The entire cast was all-female.
Trujillo has been with his husband, Jack Noseworthy, for 30 years.
The two met in 1990 and married in 2011. Just last year, they welcomed a beautiful baby boy into their family.
We stan this family photo.
“My world all in one beautiful picture!!!!,” Trujillo’s caption reads. We assume that the woman is his beautiful mother. We’re mami’s boys and girls all our lives.
Apparently, if Trujillo was trapped on a desert island forever, he’d want to be with Jeremy Pope.
He played Eddie Kendricks in Ain’t Too Proud, so the two have worked together. Don’t worry. We have footage of Trujillo’s husband’s reaction.
Noseworthy’s face when hearing Turjillo’s answer:
Trujillo digs the hole deeper when he says that Pope is just so talented that he’d be able to do anything. He’s also a good cook.
Honey, you in trouble.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has named him one of the Top 100 Colombians in the world.
His work cannot be denied, and, truthfully, neither can his love for marido, Jack. Happy Pride.
Congrats on your Tony and a much-appreciated coming out, Trujillo!
This time, for coming out as a once undocumented immigrant. Your story is an inspiration.