WARNING: Video contains violence
Two men on a train attacked a 21-year-old, just because he was playing music too loudly. The brutal altercation was caught on camera.
The incident occurred on the San Francisco Muni train around 8:45 p.m. on the N-Judah Muni line.
Dexter Lotz, who works at a local deli, was going home after a picnic with friends and family at Dolores Park. The young man was listening to XXXTentacion on his bluetooth speaker and was about ready to get off the train when he was confronted by a heavy-set man with a beard and a hat.
Lotz told Mic he noticed the man staring at him all throughout the journey and he belatedly realized it might have been because of his loud music.
The man, who remains unnamed, approached Lotz and started asking him intrusive questions.
“Are you getting off on this stop?” the man asked.
“That’s none of your business,” said the young man, who has Guyanese and German parents.
The older man continued to ask Lotz questions and at some point reportedly told him to turn off his music.
“The kid says, ‘What do you mean? or ‘What you gonna do about it?'” said Lisa Northcutt, the woman who recorded the subsequent violent video on her cell phone. “And that’s when the guy got up and put him in a headlock.”
In the video, the older man had a merciless stranglehold on Lotz’s neck and is basically sitting on him. Only Lotz’s arm and the top of his head can be seen as he floundered for something to grab onto and get the man off his body.
Other passengers on the train can be heard petitioning the man to stop his brutal assault.
“He’s a kid. Leave him alone,” one woman can be heard crying.
“Tell him to stop,” said the assailant, even though it’s not certain what exactly he wants the young man to stop doing, considering Lotz was then crushed under him.
Some passengers eventually managed to get the man off Lotz. However, in the next section of the video, another elderly, balding man seemed to have joined the fight and was, with the help of the first man, trying to push Lotz off the train. As the young man struggled to stay inside, the two men banged him against the wall of the train and continued to push him out. The newcomer could also be seen throwing what looked like a skateboard out of the door.
The situation could have turned deadly as the oncoming traffic could have easily hit Lotz if he had been forced outside.
Lotz alleged the two men also scattered his stuff all across the train, including his Samsung Galaxy 9 phone, speakers and headphones.
Later Northcutt said there were actually three men who were struggling with the 21-year-old.
“I was scared,” Northcutt told Mic. “I wanted to help the kid out, but it was three bigger men fighting on the train. I thought maybe I should just take out my phone and record it. I knew whatever was going on was wrong, but maybe I could use this video to help him later.”
Lotz said he eventually started to fight back. He punched the heavy-set man in the face which prompted him to walk away. He then also managed to shove the white-haired man off the train. He said he almost lost consciousness more than once during the entire ordeal.
“I’ve never experienced that before,” he said. “Things started going black. I couldn’t see anything.”
Two men eventually came and physically held the two people apart as the train stopped and everyone was ordered to disembark.
“That’s when the kid got off and he started screaming, ‘Where’s my stuff?'” said Northcutt.
The witness said he apparently got very disturbed and grabbed a man whom he thought had attacked him and demanded his belongings. He didn’t realize they had been chucked off the train. At that point, she said, someone misunderstood the situation and accused the young man of robbery.
Lotz then realized his skateboard, which belonged to his friend, was thrown overboard. As he got off on the next stop to go back and collect it, he said police approached him and told him to get down on the ground. They then handcuffed him.
The police also questioned the thick-set man but didn’t place him in handcuffs. When Lotz asked him the reason, the cops told him he was the instigator. The second man involved in the incident has still not been found.
“When I got off the bus, it seemed that everyone was looking at him like he did something wrong,” Northcutt said. “Nobody was trying to help him. It seemed to make him even more upset.”
Lotz said he had broken his ankle few days prior to the incident. The violent assault has made it hurt again and is making his shifts at the deli more difficult.
Lotz is considering a civil case against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.“This is very disturbing video,” said SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose. “We are working with SFPD to fully investigate this matter. We are providing the surveillance video from the train to SFPD for the investigation.”
Lotz said the police told him he had the right to press charges but his alleged attacker could also press charges.
“I don’t want to have to deal with that,” said Lotz. “Although this was pretty bad, I’m used to these types of interactions from people like him.”
On social media, people are referring to the incident as #MuniMark and MuniMatt.
#MuniMatt and #MuniMark violently threw a POC off a MUNI train. Don’t tell me blue states and cities aren’t racist, because POC who live here know that’s a big lie. Drop the receipts on those two racist losers and let’s make them Internet famous. https://t.co/EqTU6QzW1C— Lutz Alexis Wong (@ragingfoodlady) August 31, 2018
Retweet! #HeadlockHarry #MuniMatt & #MuniMark assault a teenager & throw his belongings off a bus as they're trying to throw HIM off! Why? "He was playing music!" & it's against the rules. I'd call them the male #BBQBecky & #permitPatty but they're ALL dicks. Still unidentified!— A. Rae (@a_rae625) September 1, 2018
u know that San Francisco kid w brown skin who was choked and almost thrown into moving traffic by two white men for playing music loud? When police finally arrived, guess who they cuffed and who they didn't cuff?— Rafael ?? (@rafaelshimunov) September 2, 2018
Great work @SFPD #MuniMark #MuniMatt
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Wikimedia / Zboralski