VIDEO: Man fired after blocking Latino man from entering his own apartment building

ByDion Lim KGO logo
Friday, June 26, 2020
Caught on camera: Man accused of racism after blocking SF Latino man from entering his own building
A San Francisco man found himself blocked from entering his own apartment complex parking garage by a couple who is caught on camera and later seen what appears to be assaulting a bystander who jumped in to help.

SAN FRANCISCO -- A San Francisco man found himself blocked from entering his own apartment complex parking garage Tuesday.

Some of the 20-minute confrontation was caught on camera, including the apparent assault of a bystander who jumped in to help. The man in the video has since been fired from his job

Michael Barajas, a University of California, Berkeley graduate and community educator for a biopharmaceutical company, says he used his remote to open the garage door to the parking garage at his apartment complex Tuesday after coming home from buying groceries.

A white SUV with Florida plates pulled in ahead of him and instead of proceeding forward, stopped at the entrance of one of the building's garages--blocking Barajas from going inside.

"His immediate reaction was 'hey you f**king criminal, you're not coming in here.'"

Barajas said he was clad in black and his tattoos were showing. He thinks perhaps when he leaned his head out of the window to see what was the matter, the driver and passenger, later identified as William Beasley, decided he was a threat based off of his appearance.

You can hear Beasley shouting in part of the video, "You don't have a right to come in here!"

Beasley is heard asking Barajas where his key fob is. Despite Barajas saying he has one, the man escalates the situation to the point where bystanders can be heard jumping in to help.

"Dude, pull into your space and go!" one bystander said.

Barajas said the event played out for about 20 minutes where he, at one point, feared for his safety.

"He actually threatened to shoot us if we continued to engage in conversation."

Eventually, one of the bystanders, who smacked the man's car yelling for him to move, is seen getting knocked to the ground.

"You don't touch my car bro!" yells Beasley, who continues, "I'm protecting my f**king place!"

The apartment complex sent ABC7 News a statement saying in part, it is "actively working to resolve" the issue and condemn "violent acts, aggression toward any residents, discrimination and harassment."

While the apartment complex couldn't comment on the incident citing, "tenant rights and privacy," ABC7 News photographer James Mann noticed the couple from the video loading up their car, so he asked them for their side of the story.

Beasley told Mann that before the video starts rolling he was being nice to Barajas, whom he was blocking from entering the building.

"Well, he lives here," Mann replied.

The woman with Beasley, who was driving the white SUV in the video chimed in, "He didn't know that."

Beasley went on to say "(Barajas) should have used his fob."

When Mann pressed Beasley on accusations on social media of racial profiling the response turned tense.

"Completely not true, why are you attacking me?" Beasley said.

APEX Systems where Beasley was employed, issued this statement saying they conducted an internal review and "made the decision to terminate the employee" and that they will not "tolerate violent or racist behavior."

As for Barajas, who is satisfied with his building's response to the incident, he is grateful for those who tried to intervene and is proud of how far he's come.

"I've always been from a really 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 also said he feels empowered by the responsibility to speak out for minorities who may not feel like they have a voice.

"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?"

The bystander who was knocked to the ground after intervening did not want to press charges.