Decorated Iraq vet whose bravery was immortalized in a statue says he was beaten and robbed by teens who asked him if 'black lives matter' as he ate in McDonald's An Iraq war veteran whose bravery inspired two statues says he was beaten by a group of teens in Washington, DC on Friday night after they approached and asked him whether 'black lives matter'. Chris Marquez, 30, a decorated US marine, was eating in a McDonald's when the youths walked up and started questioning him, WJLAreported yesterday. 'I felt threatened and thought they were trying to intimidate me, so I figured I'm just going to keep to my food, eat my food and hopefully they'll leave me alone,' Marquez told the station. The youths started calling him a racist, he said, but it was when he tried to leave the restaurant that things went badly for him. Scroll down for video http://i.***************/i/pix/2016/02/16/23/314C58D700000578-0-Injured_Chris_Marquez-a-7_1455664662248.jpg +7 Vet: Chris Marquez, an Iraq vet with eight years of active duty, says he was attacked outside a Washington, DC McDonald's on Friday after a gang of youths asked him whether he thought 'black lives matter' http://i.***************/i/pix/2016/02/16/23/314C58DB00000578-0-image-a-1_1455664547904.jpg +7 Injured: He says the youths knocked him to the ground from behind, beat him and robbed him. He was taken to George Washington Hospital with injuries to his face and eye The soldier, who had survived ambushes in Fallujah at the height of the Iraq War, was taken unaware again — and this time he was unarmed and without backup. One of the teens hit him in the head him from behind, knocking him to the floor, where the gang beat him savagely before robbing him. Marquez told police that one youth hit him in the head with a handgun. 'As soon as I walked out of the McDonald’s I got hit in the back of the head, or the side of the head,' he told WJLA. 'I just dropped to the ground, and [the McDonald's manager] says I looked unconscious.' Marquez was taken to George Washington Hospital where he was evaluated for several hours and treated for head trauma and an eye contusion, The Daily Caller wrote. He was left with bruises and cuts to his face, and says that he's had trouble sleeping since the event due to a sharp pain that he often feels in his head. That wasn't the only indignity the veteran suffered: when he awoke on the sidewalk outside McDonald's, he found his pants ripped and his wallet — containing $400 in cash, three credit cards and his Veterans Affairs medical card, among other things — missing. The youths used the cards that night to the tune of $115, and Marquez hopes that the trail will help police catch them. http://i.***************/i/pix/2016/02/16/23/314C58EF00000578-0-image-a-3_1455664584376.jpg +7 Sleepless: Marquez told WJLA that he has had trouble sleeping with the incident, as he now has a repeated pain down the left-hand side of his head +7 Targeted: Marquez says that he was assaulted outside this McDonald's in Washington, DC, after being confronted inside by a gang of teens http://i.***************/i/pix/2016/02/17/03/314C637D00000578-3450254-image-a-108_1455681262843.jpg +7 Hell: Marquez (pictured, left) and fellow marine Dane Shaffer lift injured 1st Sgt Brad Kasal after the 'Hell House' firefight in Fallujah. The image shocked the world and was memorialized in two statues On November 7 2004, American, British and Iraqi troops began a fierce, unrelenting conflict with insurgents in the Iraqi city of Fallujah - little knowing that the campaign would last two months and become known as The Second Battle of Fallujah. The fighting was furious throughout, but it was the brutal events of one particular day - November 13 - that would become known in Marine Corps legend as 'The House of Hell'. That day, in south-western Fallujah, two soldiers on a seek-and-destroy mission found themselves caught in a vicious foxhole. They managed to surprise and kill one hidden insurgent, but in doing so alerted others on the roof to their presence. A volley of bullets came through a skylight, followed by grenades, wounding both soldiers. US reinforcements arrived but were also caught in the gunfire and trapped. First Sergeant Brad Kasal, who had arrived outside the building, grabbed another marine and the two entered to provide support. Kasal was an experienced soldier who had fought in the first Gulf War, and the two managed to neutralize another insurgent before being surrounded and hit in the legs with gunfire. A grenade was thrown into the room to finish them off and Kasal threw himself on top of his comrade to protect him, suffering further injuries to his legs. Nevertheless, Kasal was able to pull his fellow soldier out of harm's way, then draw his pistol and guard them for over an hour while reinforcements fought their way into the house to rescue the men. Two of the reinforcements that battled their way into the room were Chris Marquez and Dane Shaffer, who carried Kasal to safety. Photographer Lucien Read was also there, and took the picture that would immortalize the three and become an iconic image of the terrible violence being wrought in the country. Ten years later, Wyoming artist John Phelps would recreate the image as two statues that would be placed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The veteran seemed troubled by the teens' accusations of racism, telling The Daily Caller, 'When I was in the Marine Corps, I served with people from many different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, and races. Like all Marines, I fought for the freedom of all Americans and not just one particular group.' Marquez served eight years on active duty in the marines as a rifleman and scout sniper from 2003-2011, and was awarded a Bronze Star for valor on his first deployment for carrying his commander's body out of combat after he was killed in an ambush, according to The Daily Caller. During his time in the Marine Corps he was deployed to Iraq three times and Afghanistan once. But he was best known for a photograph showing him and a fellow marine carrying a wounded sergeant out of a house in Fallujah, after a firefight that became known as 'The House of Hell' in Marine Corps lore. That photograph in turn inspired two statues named No Man Left Behind, which are currently on display at Camp Pendleton in San Diego and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. +7 Inspiration: Marquez and a fellow marine were photographed carrying an injured comrade out of a battle, an image that inspired two statues, including this one at Camp Pendleton, San Diego After leaving the Marine Corps, Marquez worked as a defense contractor for the State Department, which deployed him again to Afghanistan. His LinkedIn profile says this lasted for nine months in 2012. He joined Santiago Canyon College the following year, getting an Associate of Arts in Communication Studies in 2014. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations & Strategic Communication at American University. His LinkedIn profile says that he worked as an intern at Warner Brothers Entertainment in Burbank, California, for three months in 2013, then spent five months as an intern with the Committee on Veterans' Affairs in 2015. His last listed job was as a legislative fellow at the US House of Representatives from September 2015 to last month. Politics seems to have been a goal of Marquez's civilian life. In 2014 he ran as a Democratic candidate for Congress, hoping to represent the 42nd Congressional District of California, according to BallotPedia. +7 Politics: In 2014, Marquez ran for congress as a Democrat, calling himself a supporter of 'fiscal conservative and social libertarian policies.' He came third of four, with 10% of the vote In a YouTube video he described himself as believing in 'fiscal conservative and social libertarian policies' and said that a personal issue for him was 'fixing the Department of Veterans' Affairs' His BallotPedia page says that he was in favor of reforming 'draconian' drug laws, investing in renewable energy and 'providing a clear path towards citizenship for law abiding undocumented immigrants.' It adds that he objected to the Affordable Care Act, which he accused of causing Americans to lose insurance policies and 'forcing' institutions to act against their 'core beliefs'. He came in third place with 11% of the vote, behind Democrat Tim Sheridan with 15.8% and Republican Ken Calvert, who took home 67.5%. Speaking to The Washington Post, DC police chief spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said that detectives were reviewing surveillance footage but that it was not immediately clear what it showed. 'It’s an active investigation, and in this case, as in any other, we’re going to investigate it to the fullest,' he said.