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Danny Trejo says he was racially targeted in 4th of July water balloon brawl

“Machete” star Danny Trejo has opened up about his viral Fourth of July melee, insisting that he was targeted by water balloon-throwing parade spectators because of his race.

“I’m so sad that I behaved the way I behaved,” the action movie star told TMZ. “I’m so sad that a group of men have to throw water balloons to enjoy their day.”

Trejo was sitting in the passenger seat of a swanky convertible, driving through L.A.’s Sunland-Tujunga neighborhood amid Fourth of July celebrations, in the moments before the confrontation.

Video from the scene shows the vehicle stopped in the street and surrounded by a group of people, among them a man wielding water balloons. He chucked one at the vintage car, but Trejo said he only exited the vehicle when he heard someone say their was acid in the balloon.

“I don’t think I would’ve gotten out of the car if someone hadn’t yelled ‘it’s acid,’” he told TMZ. “That’s when I panicked.”

In clips obtained by KTTV, Trejo can be seen approaching the group, and then arguing with a man in a black shirt. Things quickly turn physical, with Trejo taking a swing at the alleged balloon-thrower before he stumbles backwards off the curb and falls into the street.

Some people nearby joined in the scuffle, while others attempted to deescalate the situation. But before things calmed, Mario Castillo, a friend of Trejo’s who was also in the car, said a group held him down and stomped on his arms.

Castillo showed off his bruises, both on his limbs and on his face, to TMZ.

When asked whether they believe they were singled out because they’re Mexican, both Castillo and Trejo said they felt racism was at the root of the matter.

“It was targeted, because there was no one else being hit by balloons in front of us or behind us,” Castillo told TMZ. “It was just at our lowrider.”

Trejo, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, echoed the sentiment.

“I’m just sad that there are still people from the 50s and 60s that still feel the same way,” the actor said. “No one else was targeted.”

He added: “I would be embarrassed if I attacked an 80-year-old man.”


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