Michael Barajas, a Berkeley graduate and community educator for a biopharmaceutical company, said the confrontation began when he was entering his garage building.
A couple blocked the way of a San Francisco man after he tried to enter his own building apartment complex parking garage. Michael Barajas, who lives in SOMA Residences, had just arrived at the garage door on Tuesday evening after buying fruits. The Berkeley graduate was opening his garage door using his remote when a white SUV pulled in front of him. Instead of moving on, it stopped at the entrance of the building's garages preventing Barajas from entering. "His immediate reaction was 'hey you f**king criminal, you're not coming in here,'" he recalled, according to ABC7.
Barajas, who is also the community educator for a biopharmaceutical company, was dressed in black and his tattoos were visible, too. When the SUV stopped, he leaned out to check what the matter was and thinks that's the driver and the passenger assumed that he was a threat based on his appearance. The man in the passenger's seat of the white SUV was identified as William Beasley and he could be heard saying, "You don't have a right to come in here." He is then heard asking Barajas to show his key fob, which is used by residents to open the door to the garage.
This happened in #SF. My friend’s friend. In #SOMA. The Bay Area is not special. Yt racists Karens blocking a Chicanx from entering their residence b/c they “don’t look like they belong.” Racist Yt ppl have nasty power complex and violent tendencies. Check 2nd vid for that. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/Sl0WktooNx— Your Favorite Scientist From The Hood (@RichmondLyfe) June 24, 2020
Despite Barajas assuring that he has his key fob, the man continues to escalate the matter to such an extent that bystanders were forced to intervene. "Dude, pull into your space and go!" said the observer. At some point, Barajas was worried about his safety during this 20-minute confrontation. "He actually threatened to shoot us if we continued to engage in conversation!" he recalled. Eventually, someone jumped right in and smacked Beasley's car. In retaliation, Beasley knocked the bystander to the ground. "You don't touch my car bro!" he yelled in the video as he continues, "I'm protecting my f**king place!"
GARAGE RAGE: “It hurt.”— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) June 25, 2020
SOMA resident Michael Barajas was blocked f/entering his own parking garage by a man &woman. The man appears to be seen assaulting a bystander who vouched Michael lived in the building.
We talked to Michael and the man in the white SUV @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/VVRSLlVlQb
When ABC7 News photographer James Mann came across the couple, who were loading up their belongings, he asked them for their side of the story. "I talked to them and asked them nicely," explained Beasley. To this Mann replied, "Well, he lives here." The woman with Beasley added, "He didn't know that." Beasley said that Barajas "should have used his fob." As Mann confronted him about the accusation of racial profiling on social media, the exchange became heated. "Completely not true, why are you attacking me?" he said.
#WilliamBeasley is a racist who threatened police retaliation on #MichaelBarajas, a Hispanic man, because he didn’t believe Barajas lived in the building AND Beasley assaulted bystanders who tried to help Barajas. Thank, @ApexSystems for firing this ignorant bigot. #ByeKaren https://t.co/SNPHnGxBw4— Thomas Karr (@thomas_karr) June 26, 2020
Soon after the clip was reported, a statement was issued by Beasley's employer APEX Systems. They acknowledged that Beasley's racist behavior and explained that they do not "tolerate violence of racist behavior." They also noted that they had fired him over the demeaning 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, wrote the company. In a statement to ABC7, SOMA Residences said in part that they were "actively working to resolve" the matter and condemn "violent acts, aggression toward any residents, discrimination, and harassment."
Thank you. You did the right thing. This couple was ridiculous and racist. Shame on them. He unnecessarily escalated the situation and caused pain and embarrassment to the young man and physically harmed another tenant trying to help. People should be able to go home in peace.— Gladiator in Pink (@gladiatorinpink) June 26, 2020
Barajas revealed that he was grateful for the people who attempt to help him and that he was satisfied with the response of the building regarding the incident. Despite being a victim of racism, Barajas shared he was proud of how far he has come today and that he felt empowered at that moment. "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?"