AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Eduardo Salazar and Jaurbres Garcia said they have only been in the U.S. from their native Colombia for less than a year.
The two have known each other for more than 15 years. They said they are here to get an education and start a career, but what witnesses and police have described as a “bias-motivated attack” against them has left both afraid for their lives in a new country.
“We just went to that store as customers to buy gasoline,” Garcia said.
“He started yelling and yelling and when I started leaving he started pushing me,” Salazar said.
When Garcia saw his friend being attacked by a man on a visit to an Aurora gas station last Tuesday, it was only natural for him to defend him. But the suspect would escalate the attack into more than just a tussle.
“I turned around saw him reach for the gas bump and he sprayed me like this,” Salazar said, describing the attack. “He got it on my chest and on my pants.”
The man not only doused Salazar in gasoline, he yelled at the men that they “weren’t welcome here” and to “get out of here.”
Fear from the attack still lingers for victims
His attack didn’t end there.
“Afterward, I saw him coming at us with a rock like this,” Salazar said, describing the man’s movements, “and he threw the whole thing at the back of the car.”
Gas station employees told FOX31 the man presented himself respectfully before the attack.
Garcia said that something seemed off.
“That man was not in his right mind. He was aggressive, he was insulting everyone around,” Garcia said.
The fear from this attack still lingers for Salazar.
“I’m afraid that one day he’ll be at my apartment waiting outside, like he’s looking for me or something,” Salazar said.
Garcia wants the attacker caught.
“I want him to answer for his crimes because, honestly, we felt attacked,” Garcia said.
That attacker took Salazar’s keys and remote to his car, leaving him with a large debt to replace those.
He remains on the run more than a week after this attack. Anyone with information is asked to call Aurora Police.