White man berates Mexican man over parking lot incident
A parking lot incident in north Fresno has gained online attention after it quickly turned racist.
A video recording of part of Wednesday's incident shows a white man unleashing a string of racially charged epithets. Abbie Sanders, who posted the video to Facebook, said Friday that it was recorded by her husband, who she would only identify as Jose.
Sanders said the incident was sparked after the white man accused Jose of backing into the white man's car in the Villaggio Shopping Center on Blackstone Avenue across from River Park. Jose, who was driving a delivery truck, denies that he hit the white man's car, Sanders said.
She said her husband started recording because he felt threatened.
Friday afternoon, the white man seen in the video posted an apology in a video on Facebook. He is Dan Kuehne. In his apology, Kuehne says, "I want to apologize for my actions, and specifically for my choice of words that stem from the traffic incident on Wednesday," Kuehne states. "I let my emotions get the better of me. There's no excuse for that.
"Regardless of what caused the incident or things that were said outside of the filming of that incident, the things I said were wrong and I apologize to any and all who were justifiably offended by my conduct."
The original video, recorded Wednesday by Jose, last about a minute and shows the white man on the phone. He is seen screaming at Jose. A large semitrailer is parked next to them and a blue car also appears on the video.
"It's a stupid (expletive) Mexican," the white man is heard saying to someone on the phone. "They don't know how to drive anyway."
Jose asks the white man if he is racist. The white man responds: "I'm a racist because of your stupid (expletive) ass."
Before that, the white man tells Jose "I oughta ship your ass back home, wherever you're from." And he later asks for the police over the phone. It is unclear from the video who he is speaking to.
Jose says he is a citizen. But the white man says, "You ain't no American ... you're a beaner."
Sanders said her husband was delivering restaurant supplies. She declined to identify Jose's employer.
Sanders said the delivery truck is equipped with cameras that activate if the truck strikes something or if it makes sudden stops. Sanders said her husband told her that the cameras never turned on and that he noticed there were "several inches" between the truck and the blue car.
Fresno police confirmed Friday that a traffic officer arrived to the location but no police report exists since the incident did not involve injuries and occurred on private property. Jose and the white man exchanged insurance information, according to police and Sanders. Sanders said Jose's company is handling the insurance claim.
The video of the incident was shared Thursday by local TV stations Univision (Channel 21) and KMPH (Fox 26) and quickly drew comment. Many commenters identified the white man as "Dan." Several added that he works for RVs 4 Less in Madera.
Sanders said her husband does not have social media accounts but decided to record the incident "for his own safety." She questioned how the parking lot incident escalated as much as it did, but said she was glad the video went viral.
"It gives everyone a perspective of how things are for other people," Sanders said Friday, adding that Jose is Mexican and has citizenship. "It shows everyone else what is going on."
Sanders said Jose's business stands behind him and has been supportive after the incident. But Jose was still shaken up and upset days after he shot the video.
"It was absolutely heartbreaking for my husband," Sanders said. "He was walking with his head down. He said the guy made him feel like a cockroach."