- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Police in Washington, D.C., are searching for at least four people in connection with an assault and robbery of a decorated Marine Friday night.

Christopher Marquez, who served in the Marine Corps from 2003 to 2011, told police he was attacked Friday about 10:30 p.m. while eating at a McDonald's restaurant in Chinatown.

The suspects took Mr. Marquez’s wallet, identification, credit cards, debit care and about $400 in cash, according to the police report, which was first reported by The Daily Caller.

“When we’re in the military, we’re there for our country,” Mr. Marqueztold the Marine Corps Times. “It’s very ironic — being attacked by the people you [were] there to serve.”

Mr. Marquez was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for actions in Fallujah when he refused to leave a badly wounded Marine behind, even under heavy gunfire, the Marine Corps Times reported.

He was also famously photographed during that deployment helping carry then-1st Sgt. Bradley Kasal out of a house in Fallujah. Kasal was wounded and later received the Navy Cross. The photograph was later turned into a statue at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Camp Pendleton, Calif., according to the Marine Corps Times.

Mr. Marquez said he believed the attack was racially motivated. He told the Daily Caller the group of 16- to 21-year-old attackers approached him while he was eating and asked him if he thought black lives mattered. He did not respond to them because he said he felt intimidated.

The police report does not include a description of the attackers.

The attackers allegedly hit Mr. Marquez in the back of the head as he was leaving the restaurant, knocking him unconscious, and emptied his pockets.

When he woke up, Mr. Marquez said he took a taxi home where he met police. He spent several hours at George Washington University Hospital being examined for head trauma. He was told to go to a Veterans Affairs clinic for followup treatment.

On Tuesday, Mr. Marquez said he was getting a replacement identification card so that he could be treated at the VA.

Mr. Marquez told Marine Corps Times he is angry at being attacked at home after making it through Iraq.

“We’re there to protect our country so that people … don’t have to be scared of getting killed or being attacked. We’re all Americans, especially in the military. We serve with people from all backgrounds. It seems like there is so much tension right now. … It’s very sad.”

A gofundme page created to help Mr. Marquez recover the money that was stolen has so far raised nearly $1,200. 

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