HOUSTON – A member of the Grammy Award-winning band La Mafia was assaulted when he left a Houston bar early Monday, according to the group’s Facebook page.
Oscar De La Rosa and his driver were attacked around 1:30 a.m. outside Blur nightclub at 710 Pacific, according to Houston police.
The victims told police a man approached De La Rosa while they were in the club and asked to take a picture with the singer.
The man made De La Rosa feel uncomfortable so he refused.
The suspect became belligerent and was thrown out of the bar, according to La Mafia’s manager.
As De La Rosa and his driver were leaving the club, the man ambushed them.
He sucker-punched De La Rosa’s driver nearly knocking him out, police said. The suspect then struck De La Rosa several times, the manager said.
"The guy, from what I understand, is 6 feet and stocky and he sucker-punched the driver and Oscar," La Mafia Manager Armando Lichtenberger said.
The singer was treated at Memorial Hermann Hospital for severe facial lacerations and possible damage to his right eye. He also lost a couple of teeth. De La Rosa is recovering at home now.
"He’s angry," Lichtenberger said. "He didn’t get to defend himself at all."
De La Rosa’s driver was also treated at the hospital.
The suspect fled on foot.
The guy took off. It happened so fast, and the driver freaked and put him in the car and went to the emergency,"Lichtenberger said.
Police are following several leads, but have not arrested anyone in the case.
De La Rosa normally has a bodyguard, but he wasn’t with him Sunday night.
"He [De La Rosa] spent time with his mother for Mother’s Day, and then he just wanted to go out and have a good time," Lichtenberger said.
The band’s manager said the attack has made them question the risks they face whenever they hang out in public places.
"It’s there for all artists and you live and learn," Lichtenberger said.
He also called the assault ironic because De La Rosa is almost always willing to take a picture.
"There are celebrities who can be eating and they won’t take a picture," he said. "Oscar will get up and take a picture."
De La Rosa founded La Mafia in 1980 in Houston. They toured Mexico and quickly became the first U.S. group to find success on both sides of the border.
The band has won two Grammys, two Latin Grammys and a dozen Tejano Music Awards. It was among the top 10 Billboard Latin Artists for the 1990s.
La Mafia has performed several times in front of record crowds at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.