VIDEO: Police investigate after white man calls 911 on Black, Hispanic men at Conn. marina

1010 WINS Newsroom
June 27, 2020 - 3:34 pm
Connecticut marina

@ty_d203/Instagram

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Warning: The video below contains profanity.

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — A social media video showing a white man calling the police on a group of Black and Hispanic men in Connecticut has prompted a police investigation and is drawing comparisons to a similar incident in New York’s Central Park last month.

Share, like, comment. This is happened at Cove Beach in Stamford, Connecticut on Saturday (the day after Juneteenth). Two of my friends have birthdays on June 19th (Juneteenth) & we were out celebrating (not causing any trouble- let’s make that clear). I hesitated to post this, but it’s bigger than me. This is a perfect example of how people have DIED in this country due to racism (Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery, etc). This is EXACTLY what the world has been protesting about! This man even referred to himself as GOD ----‍♂️. He feels like he has the RIGHT to take someone’s life as he sees fit. • • The guy in the video called the police on us for being at Cove Beach with a boat attached my friends truck. He ASSUMED we were going to dock the boat at Cove. We met at Cove park, before heading to West beach. My friend lives SECONDS away from Cove Park. The man sped towards our cars in a very hostile manner. He started swearing, yelling & pointing in our faces. He told us that he was a police officer and that he OWED Cove Beach. Cove is a PUBLIC beach so we knew he was lying, not to mention he impersonated a police officer. He kept saying “go back to where you came from”. And he said to one of my friends “Where are you from China? I was born here”. Then that’s when I started recording. Once we started to leave he went to his truck and started searching for weapons. He kept saying “you want to mess with me, you’ll see, you’ll see”. He pulled out a knife (which looked like a box cutter) & had pepper spray. He begin to pepper spray my friends hitting them in the head, face and neck. He sprayed me in the chest and arm, but missed my face. He then sped off & tried to reverse into us with his pick up truck. There was a third party witness on the scene, who just so happened to be an Attorney & he told the police that the man was at FAULT & that “we showed great restraint”. People always say- they never experienced racism in Stamford. It does exist! Here’s your proof caught on camera at Cove Island Park. Hopefully this video can save someone’s life. If this man had a gun (which we learned that he’s a registered gun owner in the State of Connecticut) he would of 100% shot it.

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Stamford police identified the white man as city resident Steven Dudek, 57. He is seen on the video at a marina at Cove Island Park last Saturday telling police in a phone call the group is harassing him, saying “white lives matter too” and telling the other men his name is “God.” The group also alleged Dudek sprayed an irritating chemical at them.

“What happened to us is a perfect example of this man weaponizing the police department and as a Black man who grew up in America, this happens far too often,” a member of the group, Tarae Frazier, 24, of Stamford, said at a news conference Thursday.

Dudek could not be reached for comment Friday. A phone message seeking comment was left at his business, and no one answered a home phone listing for him.

Darnell Crosland, a lawyer for the five men who were confronted by Dudek, called on police to charge Dudek with assault, intimidation based on bigotry and making a false report of harassment. Stamford police said they continue to investigate.

Crosland said the Stamford incident reminded him of the May 25 incident in New York’s Central Park in which a white woman, Amy Cooper, called police to report she was being threatened by an African American man, Christian Cooper, no relation, after he told her to leash her dog.

That incident also was captured on a widely watched video, which sparked allegations of racism and led to Amy Cooper getting fired from her job. There were no arrests, and Amy Cooper apologized.

“What this gentleman knew was that he can weaponize the 911 system, just like the lady in Central Park did, and so he doesn’t have to pull a gun anymore,” Crosland said. “Because of the system that is built on racism and prejudice, he was able to just call 911.”

Frazier, his cousin and three friends including a Bridgeport police officer hauled a boat on a trailer to the park Saturday during a weekend get-together. Dudek told them they did not have permission to launch their boat at the Cove Park Marina ramp because they did not have a slip there like he did.

The video shows Dudek appearing to call police and report, “I’m being harassed by a bunch of Black men down here.” A bystander photo, but not the video, shows Dudek pointing some kind of spray can at the group.