Searching for man caught on camera spewing racist slurs to interracial couple in SW Houston neighborhood

Searching for man caught on camera spewing racist slurs to interracial couple in SW Houston neighborhood

Brandon Walker

HOUSTON – Houston police are searching for a man recorded on video hurling antisemitic, racist slurs at an interracial couple, as they walked their dogs Tuesday in southwest Houston.

“As many racial slurs as he could think of,” said Andy Tran. Tran and his fiancé Stephanie were the man’s target.  Tran said they were walking near the intersection of Meadowvale Drive and Tanglewide Street when the man approached them.

“We saw him kind of coming toward us but we didn’t think anything of it. He’s just another walker in the morning. Suddenly, we just started hearing screaming,” Tran said.

Tran recorded a video of the encounter, which he shared with Houston police, as well as social media, showing the man shouting hateful speech toward the couple.

“He was yelling a lot of, you know, slurs, and then mainly saying I hate mixed couples,” Tran said, adding he didn’t want to fan the flames.

“I tried to just keep my cool but I yelled back and just told him to keep walking.”

Tran says he and Stephanie kept walking, but the man followed. That’s when Tran said he took out his phone and began to record.

“He was threatening to beat me,” said Tran, a Houston native, and Army veteran. He said he thought of his military training and began trying to remove himself and his fiancé from the situation.

“I could tell he was a little unhinged. There was something wrong,” Tran said, adding his experience helped him “to assess the situation and figure out okay is this person a threat and should I try to de-escalate something.”

Video shows the man squaring up to Tran, his fiancé, and their two dogs. The clip also shows the man backing away from the couple as soon as their dog, Jormi, growled.

“We want this out but we have to identify it first and these people are coming out of the woodwork, I guess, which helps in identifying them,” he said.

Mark Toubin, southwest regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said reporting cases of discrimination is crucial in dismantling said behavior.

“He had a really amazing presence of mind to record it,” Toubin said.

The ADL encourages those who encounter discriminatory acts to report them to law enforcement, as well as to them.  Pictures and videos can be uploaded onto the ADL’s website.

“We know that because of the numbers we’re seeing of the dramatic rise in antisemitism, the dramatic rise in all forms of hateful activity, and sometimes it actually takes people seeing it to say ‘Yeah, I can’t ignore this anymore,’” Toubin said.

Houston police said they are investigating the incident as a misdemeanor case of Terroristic Threat. Tran said he doesn’t want the man to face jail time – he just wants him to get help.

“It happens and hopefully he can get some help, maybe open his eyes,” he said.

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