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Danny Trejo Breaks Silence on Fourth of July Parade Brawl

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Danny Trejo is speaking out about the Fourth of July brawl that occurred on Thursday during a parade in Sunland, California.

“Honest to God, I’m so sad,” Trejo told TMZ in an interview over the weekend. “I’m so sad I behaved the way I behaved. I’m so sad that grown men gotta throw water balloons to enjoy a day.”

The Machete star, 80, was a guest of honor and riding in a vintage convertible as part of the Sunland-Tujunga Rotary Club’s annual 4th of July parade in Sunland, California. According to multiple reports, a spectator threw a water balloon at the convertible, bringing the parade to a screeching halt.

Video footage circulating on social media showed the actor stepping out of the car and confronting a man. Punches were then thrown, and Trejo was knocked to the ground, triggering a full-on melee. Another man later identified as Mario, Trejo’s best friend, also get knocked down. Mario appeared bloodied with a massive cut on his face.

“I don’t think I would have even got out of the car if somebody hadn’t yelled, ‘It’s acid,'” Trejo told TMZ. “That’s when I got panicked.”

It’s unclear if there was anything other than water in the balloons that were thrown. According to one eyewitness who spoke to ABC7, throwing water balloons at cars in the parade is sort of a tradition, but it’s understood that water balloons are not to be thrown at the nicer cars, which is what apparently set off Trejo.

Danny Trejo attends Los Angeles Mission’s Celebrity Thanksgiving at Los Angeles Mission on Nov. 22, 2023.Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

According to the actor, he claims he confronted the man he believes threw the balloons, and the man allegedly grabbed Trejo’s shirt. Trejo says he wasn’t pushed to the ground, but instead tried to back up from the man and “stepped back and fell off the curb.”

Trejo was joined in his interview by his friend — who was also allegedly injured in the brawl — and they both stated they felt the incident was racially motivated.

“No one else was targeted,” Trejo stated.

The actor also joked, “I would be embarrassed if I attacked an 80-year-old man and he’s still talking and laughing.”

Danny Trejo signs autographs for fans at the grand opening of a Trejo’s Tacos in London, England, in April 2024.Ricky Vigil M / Justin E Palmer/GC Images

Trejo also spoke with local Fox 11, stating, “It’s sad that people can wake up in the morning and go down and ruin something for everybody else.”

“I am a protector. I will protect all my friends, always, and that’s what I was doing,” he said. “I hate bullies, and that’s what bullies do.”

It’s been a rough few weeks for Trejo. On June 30, the actor shared on Instagram that he lost his chihuahua, Dixie Wixie. He shared a photo of his pooch on Instagram, writing, “Hold your babies tight for me please. Today I lost my little Dixie Wixie.”

Trejo is known for appearing in films, such as DesperadoHeatFrom Dusk Till DawnCon Air and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. But he’s best known for starring as Isador “Machete” Cortez in the Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis-directed films Machete and its sequel, Machete Kills.

The actor — who is also the face behind the popular Los Angeles establishments Trejo’s Tacos and Trejo’s Cantina — has been open about his sobriety and doing hard time in prison. He’s been sober since 1968, just one year before he was released from prison. Since then, Trejo’s dedicated his life to serving others.

Trejo’s life story inspired the 2019 Brett Harvey documentary, Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo. Two years later, Trejo debuted his memoirTrejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood

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