I never imagined that I’d go through an event like this of this past Friday. It brings Senator Martha McSally’s recent #MeToo revelations immediately to mind. While painful and disturbing, it can be useful: I can now guide my children, and the students I teach, employing this very personal experience. What’s recounted below isn’t meant to be read as a story as much as a detailed and factual narration. There will be more to come as this immigrant works with the local “Protect and Serve” folks…
On the 9th of March, 2019, I drove to an address, 1735 S Glenview, Mesa, AZ 85204, to pick up a shower caddy advertised as available on the social network Nextdoor. It was approximately 7:25 pm and the streets were dark as I drove on Baseline Road toward Mesa. Construction work had reduced lanes on Baseline Road to just one heading west, as I approached Glenview street, and I turned right into this street to get to the address less than an eighth of a mile ahead as my car GPS indicated. This side street was darker than the main road, and I strained to see house numbers as I drove at low speed along the neighborhood street.
I’d passed what appeared to be #1725 and was at #1711 when I noticed a pickup truck overtake me, turn around on the street, and stop at an angle in the middle of the road, boxing me in. Looking up, I saw a driver demanding that I roll down my window. At the same time, I’d noticed a man walking a dog along the street while looking at house numbers. Deciding NOT to engage with this belligerent driver, I slipped past the pickup truck, turned around in the street, and parked beside #1711. As I got down to ask the man walking his dog for directions, I noticed the large white pickup truck get off the middle of the road, move ahead, and park right in front of my vehicle. Once again, this driver seemed intent on preventing me from leaving without some sort of exchange with him.
I asked the Asian gentleman walking his dog for house #1735. As he answered me, I saw the driver of the large white pickup approach the both of us. As he reached us, before saying anything at all, he hit my right arm with his fist and yelled that I was driving too fast in this (his) neighborhood. Taken completely by surprise at his physical violence, I could only manage to say that his behavior was unacceptable and that it may need to be reported. He retorted, “Go ahead, call the cops, and we’ll discuss how you were driving in this neighborhood,” or something to that effect. The Asian gentleman stood frozen while all this transpired.
The belligerent driver from the large white pickup truck was Caucasian, of about 5′ 4” in height, almost a foot shorter than me at 6′ 3”. He sported very closely cropped dark hair and seemed of a rather slight build. I clearly outweighed him and could’ve readily defended myself, but the speed of his violence surprised me. My phone in hand, I again indicated that I’d need to call the police to report this altercation. As I fumbled with the camera “app” on my phone, I noticed him going around and snapping a picture of my car’s license plate. He came around behind me and very violently hit my hand and the phone I held, slamming it to the ground, and shocked me again. He effectively prevented my taking a picture of his license plate, and likely damaged the phone too. I hastened to pick my phone up to ensure it was still functional, while he threatened me with “If I ever see you in this neighborhood again, I’ll beat the shit out of you,” as he passed by me. The Asian gentleman walking his dog had retreated a short distance away, near my vehicle, as all this occurred in his presence.
With my phone’s condition unknown, I memorized his license plate: 8S8XX, an AZ Veteran license plate, white in the background. Having NOT made any eye contact with him, I noticed only that my attacker had on a dark shirt and possibly blue jeans. Verifying that my phone still worked, I saw that the attacker sped away while I called 911 and stayed on the line, reporting as many details as I could remember then until a couple of officers came by into the street. The officers took my statement and asked if I’d like to press charges, which I did. The officer demanded of the Asian gentleman, “You did not see anything, did you?” – while I listened dumbfounded. Upon the officer’s second such demand, the Asian man corroborated my version of events, especially that I had been physically attacked and hit by the pickup truck driver. I showed the officers scratches on my phone cover from the fall, thanked them for responding, thanked the Asian gentleman for his assistance, and walked on to #1735 a couple of houses down the same street.