On the afternoon of Friday, April 3, I was riding my bicycle in the parking lot between the Villa Toscona apartment complex and Kohl’s in Rancho San Diego. A friend had recently asked me about Villa Toscona, whether I was aware of any suspicious activity going on there, such as meth labs or a gang presence. Realizing that I didn’t know much about the place, I decided to take a spin around the outside of the gated community.
I had my camera in my hand and had begun filming the back wall of the complex to show how diligent the Villa Toscona management is about painting over graffiti. As I’d begun filming, I noticed a single youth getting into his car that was parked next to the wall. Soon I came to realize there was not just one, but seven young men, occupying three cars.
As I rode past, camera in the air, I noticed something white in color fly toward me and hit the front wheel of my bicycle. I made a quick U-turn and confronted the people in the area where the object (probably a plastic bottle cap) seemed to have originated.
The conversation was civil enough, with several of the young men denying they’d thrown anything. However, the one sitting in the driver’s seat of a red car demanded to know why I was “taking pictures of [his] car.” Communications broke down when my attempt to say “none of your business” in a kind manner came out as “that’s my business.”
After demanding several times that I produce a business card to decribe my “business,” another young man could be heard saying “wanna #$!% this guy up?” Then the red-car driver got out of his vehicle and charged me, saying he would “take me off that bicycle.”
I pedaled hard to stay out of the angry driver’s reach. Once out of range, I stopped and held up my camera toward the man who’d threatened me. He charged me again. I decided to pull out my cell phone and announce that it was time for some “police action.”
The audio portion of the video tells the tale more accurately. The Lemon Grove station of the San Diego County Sheriff has reviewed the video and is deciding what further action is appropriate.