LOS ANGELES -- Eight days after their lives crossed at a burning street corner, Fidel Lopez met the Rev. Bennie Newton.
In the chaotic early hours of the riots, Mr. Lopez, a Latino, had been one of first victims of the mob cruelty, torn out of his truck and beaten senseless. Mr. Newton, a black minister, covered Mr. Lopez's body with his own, screaming: "Kill him and you have to kill me, too."
The 59-year-old minister's actions were caught on videotape by an amateur photographer.
Thursday night, they faced each other outside a house in Torrance, Calif., hugging and crying.
"I passed through a bad moment," the 47-year-old Mr. Lopez said. "I thank you. You saved me."
"You look well," Mr. Newton said softly.
Of course, Mr. Lopez did not. His face was swollen from the 29 stitches in his forehead because of a blow from an auto stereo, 17 stitches to one ear -- someone tried to slice it off -- and 12 stitches under the chin. Though no bones were broken, his body still aches from blows to his back and shoulder, and the pain in his head is unceasing.