A Mexican day laborer is hospitalized with brain damage after being attacked somewhere in Williamsburg or Bushwick by three black men shouting "wetback." Mario Vera was riding his bike back home to Bushwick with groceries from a lower Manhattan food pantry when the young men hit him in the back of his head "with something hard" while yelling anti-immigrant slurs. The assault happened on September 23rd, but wasn't reported until last Friday, because Vera is an undocumented immigrant afraid to go to the police. (NYPD policy prohibits officers from sharing law-abiding immigrants' status with the Feds, but it has been known to happen.)

Vera's memory of the attack is fuzzy, but he recalls the youths yelling, "Mojado! Hey, wetback!" and beating him somewhere between the bridge and Bushwick. He stumbled home, and two days later, his wife Ana Maria Gallardo took him to Woodhull Hospital, where he was given a CAT scan that showed "nothing" and received Tylenol, WCBS reports. But his condition worsened dramatically, and he's now in intensive care at Beth Israel, suffering from blood clots on the brain. He also has seizures.

Vera's wife Ana Maria tells Eyewitness News, "They really beat him up without cause...and I, as his wife, felt helpless, when he came home. My husband's condition is bad...They say he could come out of it quickly or it could take years." She is also worried about how she will "make ends meet" and support their teenage daughter, but at least the Mexican Consul-General has offered to help in some way.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told NY1 last night, "The event happened on September 23rd. His wife comes to the police on October 9th. Since that time, we've been aggressively investigating this incident." Police are offering a $12,000 reward, and anyone with information about the case is being asked to contact Crime Stoppers. It's believed that this attack occurred not far from another hate crime in December, in which an Ecuadorian man was killed.