The Mavericks trumpet player Lorenzo Molina Ruiz says he’s feeling optimistic but still recovering after he and another musician, Orlando Morales, were allegedly assaulted at a Franklin bar Sunday morning.
They say they were attacked at Tony’s Eat and Drinks because they were speaking Spanish.
In an interview with Spanish-language news outlet Nashville Noticias on Wednesday, Molina said he came to the U.S. for the dream of freedom.
“I’m never going to stop being the Cuban I am. I’m never going to stop speaking half in Spanish,” said Molina. “I’m never going to stop doing that because of what happened to me or reject who I am.”
The assault, he says, harmed him both physically and psychologically. But he says he feels even stronger than before. He also encouraged those who face discrimination to fight for justice — even if their case is never publicized like his has been.
The Franklin Police Department says while no one has been charged or arrested in the alleged assault, two suspects involved in the incident came forward Tuesday night.
“The accounts by involved parties are not in agreement with one another,” said Lt. Charles Warner, a spokesperson for Franklin police. “Our hope is that independent witnesses who come forward or who may have cell phone video of the incident may be able to provide additional context.”
Warner told WPLN News that the investigation is fluid and that the department’s goal “is to seek truth so justice can prevail.”
Meanwhile, Tony’s Eat and Drinks posted on social media that the restaurant is cooperating with Franklin police as they investigate the incident.
“We would like to send our deepest condolences to the individuals affected by the altercation that occurred. We want to be clear that we do not support racism or condone hate crimes at our establishment and are taking this matter seriously,” the restaurant wrote in statement on Facebook.