Donald Trump on Friday condemned the assault on a homeless man in Boston that the suspects said was inspired by his views on immigrants.
"Boston incident is terrible," Trump said on Twitter. "We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect. I would never condone violence."
The Mexican government has confirmed that the homeless man police say was beaten by two brothers was a citizen of Mexico.
The brothers urinated on the 58-year-old man, punched him and beat him with a metal pole while he slept near a train station, and one of them said afterward that Trump was right about deporting "all these illegals," police said.
Daniel Hernandez Joseph, the consul general of Mexico in Boston, condemned the attack, saying his government would "take the necessary measures to defend the rights and interests of Mexicans," The Boston Globe reported.
The brothers, Scott Leader and Steve Leader, were being held without bail on charges including assault and indecent exposure. They pleaded not guilty.
Witnesses flagged down a state trooper at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday after they saw the attack and then saw the Leaders walk away laughing, prosecutors said. The victim was treated for a broken nose, serious bruises and other injuries.
Scott Leader told troopers after his arrest, "Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported," according to a state police report filed in court.
Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, has inflamed Latinos by describing Mexican immigrants as "criminals" and "rapists" and saying he would build a wall between the United States and Mexico to crack down on illegal immigration. He recently said he would deport the millions of people already in the United States illegally, sort them into groups of "good ones" and "bad ones" and then allow those deemed good to re-enter the country.
Following the attack, Trump reportedly said that it "would be a shame.” if his rhetoric inspired violence, but added that he found "the people that are following me are very passionate."
"They love this country," he said, according to the Boston Herald. "They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that.”
Attorneys who appeared with the brothers for their arraignment couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Mexican officials said they would follow the investigation "very closely" to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
Court records show Scott Leader served a year in prison for a hate crime against a Moroccan coffee shop worker after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the Globe said.