Family searching for homeless man after woman's racist rant got physical in DTLA

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Family members of a homeless man are worried and said he has been missing since a racist rant turned into a physical confrontation at a downtown 7-Eleven.

The store was crowded last Tuesday, with a long line of people waiting near the cash register. A customer, who was told to wait until the line cleared up to heat up food she had, began insulting the cashier.

When a homeless man, identified as Frankie Martinez, told the woman to "have some respect," she then went into a swear-word-laden rant directed at him.

The rant then turned physical and the woman grabbed Martinez's suitcase, heading out the door. A man who was with the woman then began punching Martinez.

"He didn't do nothing. All he said was, 'be respectful' and he got a beating for it," Dahlia Martinez said.

Dahlia Martinez is Frankie's sister. She said her brother has been homeless for about 20 years, but now she is worried for his safety because the family has not seen or heard from him since the confrontation.

"I don't know if these people hurt him. He doesn't answer his phone. He keeps in contact with the family and everybody has been trying and nothing," she said.

Martinez's sister said she drove all the way from Victorville to Los Angeles police headquarters Monday in downtown to file a missing person's report. She wants to know why the people in the store did not try to break up the attack, especially when one of those customers appeared to be a parking enforcement officer.

"It was a security guard officer that does tickets. They just stand there. They just stand there and watch," she said.

Dahlia Martinez describes her 59-year-old brother as a sweet and kind-hearted person. She spent the rest of her day driving the streets of Los Angeles searching for her brother.

Anyone with any information about the attack or Martinez's whereabouts is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
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