JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hispanics living in the Jacksonville area tell News4Jax they feel they're being targeted.
News4Jax reported earlier this year how some have been reluctant to report crimes for fear of being deported. But now, the crimes are becoming more violent.
The latest attack happened Saturday night outside Cuba Libre, a nightclub in the St. Nicholas neighborhood.
Dr. Rene Pulido, the owner of the complex where the attack took place, shared with News4Jax surveillance video of a couple being robbed as they left the popular bar on Atlantic Boulevard.
In the video, the couple can be seen getting in their car when a man comes from the back, pistol-whips them both, takes their money and then runs off.
The area off of Atlantic Boulevard caters to Hispanics. Pulido, who runs the medical group next door that has a large Hispanic clientele, believes there's been a big increase in crime.
He has seen it firsthand, saying he, too, has been robbed and his windows have been busted out.
"It's more than petty theft. It's not armed robbery," Pulido told News4Jax on Wednesday. "There's lots of people getting hurt and a lot of complications coming from it."
Pulido, who is also the former president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Jacksonville, said crimes such as those are more common because Hispanics can be easily targeted.
"Noticed a national trend," Pulido said. "A lot of Hispanics, because of our current political climate, are afraid to come forward and they are more hesitant. They have much difficulty asking for help."
In February, News4Jax reported on the crime trend after noticing crimes targeting Hispanics on the
Southside. Some people were afraid to report it to police for fear of being deported.
Pulido said he has great respect for police, but he would like to see officers communicate more effectively with the Hispanic community.
As of Wednesday, no arrests had been made in the weekend robbery, but police are investigating.