Trumpet player Lorenzo Molina Ruiz, of the Latin inspired Americana outfit The Maverick’s, alleged that he and a friend were assaulted at a Tennessee sports bar for speaking Spanish. The incident reportedly took place at Tony’s Eat and Drink in Franklin, Tennessee last Saturday night.
Ruiz has since shared a GoFundMe in support of his friend, Orlando Morales, which has gained over $24,000 of its $25,000 goal. “We didn’t do anything to anybody and got beaten up badly,” Ruiz wrote on the GoFundMe profile. “My friend is in bad shape. Any support would help while we proceed with getting justice for this hate crime.”
The Franklin Police Department have not responded to questions about whether the incident is being investigated as a hate crime, however they released a couple of photos of the alleged perpetrators on Tuesday afternoon. Both perpetrators appear to be Caucasian men in their 20s and are listed as Suspect A and Suspect B in the photos. The Tennessean reports that both men in the photos have come forward to be interviewed by the department.
“The case is currently classified as an aggravated assault, which is a felony,” Franklin Police Department public information officer Lt. Charles Warner told the Tennessean. “It has been assigned to a detective, and an investigation is under way.”
The Mavericks were founded in Miami, Florida back in 1989, where they started garnering attention for their unique blend of Tex-Mex, neotraditional country music, Latin and rockabilly influences. The group is fronted by singer and guitar player Raul Malo and released their most recent album En Español in August. This was the group’s first full-fledged release entirely in Spanish.