A man who refused to move his car and violently confronted his Mexican-American neighbor, Michael Barajas, in an apartment garage has been identified on social media as William Hank Beasley, according to a local San Francisco TV news station.
From video footage of the incident, Beasley does not seem to believe that Barajas lived there even though Barajas said he had the remote and key fob needed to access the garage, NBC Bay Area reported. A frustrated Barajas began filming the incident in a video that has since been removed from Facebook.
Barajas Said Beasley’s Words ‘Hit Close To Home’
Barajas, 28, told ABC-7 that he came home one evening and tried to pull into the parking garage of SOMA apartments where he lives when a white SUV pulled in ahead of him and then refused to move from the entrance.
In the video, Barajas says, “He’s literally blocking me from entering because he thinks I’m trying to break into the building even though I live here.”
At the beginning of the 20-minute incident, Barajas said Beasley told him, “Hey, you f**king criminal, you’re not coming in here.”
That began a back-and-forth in which Beasley threatened to call the police. “That’s fine, call the cops. What are you calling the cops about, Karen?” Barajas said in response.
When Beasley threatens to call the security guard on the video, Barajas says that he knows the security guard, before sighing in disbelief and remarking, “This is so f**king racist. This is so racist.”
At one point, Barajas said Beasley threatened to shoot him, which left him feeling scared.
The video also shows that when a bystander tells Beasley to just pull in his space and go and smacks his car for emphasis, Beasley violently shoves the bystander down to the ground, yelling, “You don’t touch my car bro. I’m protecting my f**king place.”
Barajas later told NBC Bay Area:
Given the current political climate and … I’m Mexican-American, and the rhetoric of us being criminals just hit close to home. Even if it wasn’t about racism, the level of aggression exuded by him is not OK. It would have been a completely different situation if he asked do I live here.”
Beasley Denied That His Inquiry Was Racially Motivated
Beasley was fired from Apex Systems, according to ABC-7 news.
The company released a statement on Twitter and did not identify anyone, but said someone had recently been fired due to an “incident”:
We have concluded our internal review of the incident with one of our internal employees. We have made the decision to terminate the employee, effective immediately. We will not tolerate violent or racist behavior of any kind at Apex Systems.
SOMA Residences sent ABC-7 news a statement in which they said they were in the process of resolving the issue and condemn “violent acts, aggression toward any residents, discrimination and harassment.”
Beasley spoke to an ABC-7 news photographer and told him that he spoke to Barajas nicely and that Barajas “should have used his fob.”
However, he denied any allegations of racial profiling and said, “Completely not true, why are you attacking me?”
Barajas who was wearing black that day and had visible tattoos, ABC-7 reported, said he believes Beasley’s actions were motivated by his appearance.
Barajas is a Berkeley graduate and works as a community educator for a biopharmaceutical company, ABC-7 reported. He told the station that he is proud of having come so far, given his humble roots, and worries about the type of harassment faced by others who look like him but are less fortunate: “I’ve always been from a really poor, poor immigrant family, so I think what happened just struck very hard for me. I felt, for me, that I do not belong here,” he said. “Had that happened to someone who is undocumented and didn’t know how to handle the situation and had been violent in return? What would’ve happened?”
Barajas posted a comment he received on Facebook from someone who apologized for Beasley’s racist attack, said they knew Beasley in college and that he had a history of self-harm and warned Barajas to take his Beasley’s threats seriously.
Barajas responded, saying in part, “As someone that has gone through suicidal ideation in the past, I truly feel for him. No one deserves to feel awful enough to inflict self-harm. However, I am putting this out there￼ to show that his threats of gun violence against my neighbor and myself are very much so a possible reality. He clearly owns a firearm and should not be allowed to have one.”