A white man in Tennessee has been hit with an assault charge and his mother fired from her banking job for allegedly harassing a Black man inside their apartment complex, who was actually a hired parking attendant.
Johnny Martinez was checking cars parked in the River House’s garage for permits on Nov. 27, when he realized he was being watched by two people, identified as Edward Brennan and his mother, Bitsy. Martinez told the Daily Beast he worked to avoid them, but that he was eventually approached by Bitsy.
“You don’t belong here,” she told him. “How did you get here?”
In a video originally posted on YouTube, Martinez can be seen filming the mother and son as they question him and threaten to call the cops. Just a few seconds into the conversation, Brennan can be seen taking a swing at Martinez, knocking a bottle opener off his keychain.
When Martinez went down to pick it up, he said Brennan attempted once again to hit him.
“A reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative,” causing Martinez to fear “imminent bodily injury,” according to an arrest warrant filed Dec. 2.
Martinez, who worked for a booting company in Nashville, said he’s not surprised when people are curious about what he’s doing, but that the recent incident left him feeling a bit anxious. He said he was also wearing a uniform at the time, including a headlamp, knee-pads and lanyard, which should have indicated to the pair he was on the job.
Martinez added that he waited for the police to show up, but that Bitsy and Edward were long gone when they arrived on the scene.
He has since quit his job.
Until recently, Bitsy had been listed as a wealth management associate at the Keller Wealth Management Group, a division of UBS. She no longer appears on their website.
[via New York Daily News]