HYATTSVILLE, Md. — A man called police on two separate groups of black women at an apartment complex, and the ladies believe their race played a factor.
The encounters took place at the swimming pool inside of The Edition Apartments on East-West Highway in Hyattsville, Maryland this past weekend.
The incidents were recorded, in part, and posted on Twitter and YouTube.
The videos have received thousands of comments, reactions, and reposts.
The first incident
On Saturday, Felecia Soso told her Twitter followers she and six of her friends were relaxing at the swimming pool when they were approached by a man complaining about glass bottles the group had with them.
The man was later identified as Nick Starr-Street, who is a resident at the apartment complex.
Starr-Street told WUSA9 he noticed the glass bottles from his apartment window and decided to go to the pool to get proof that the women were breaking a rule.
In the first video posted on Soso's Twitter account, you can see Starr-Street recording one of the women and telling her "glassware is not allowed at the pool."
The woman in the video agreed to get rid of the glass and ask, "What else do I need to do for you to be comfortable?"
Starr-Street responded in the video, "I'm going to report you to the leasing office."
Soso wrote someone from the leasing office came to speak to them, and then posted a video of what appeared to be Starr-Street calling the police.
The Hyattsville Police Department showed up to speak to the women. They shared their side of the story and eventually decided to leave the pool.
The second incident
On Sunday, Gaëlle Claude posted a video on Twitter that showed Starr-Street following her and a friend while on the phone with 911.
Her caption read, "This white man literally stalked us from his apartment for damn near a mile just cause we were at the pool drinking wine and taking pictures. Called the police and all...I cannot make this up."
Starr-Street said that, similarly to the day before, he spotted the two women who he was recorded following with glass at the pool from his apartment window.
He posted a video on YouTube that shows him approaching the women at the pool.
As he approached the women, you can hear them say, "This is too much. Please get that camera out of my face."
Starr-Street said one of the women assaulted him by knocking the phone out of his hand and bruising his chest.
He claimed that he was only following the women because they were trying to leave before police could arrive.
According to the Hyattsville Police Department, "the women alleged the man had then followed them from the apartment building to a business. The man stated he followed them because one of them had slapped his phone from his hand during the initial argument."
Officers could not verify a crime occurred and called the alleged infractions isolated and misdemeanors, according to a statement on the police department’s Facebook page.
Claude and Starr-Street were allowed to go their separate ways without arrests, but both parties planned to press charges for alleged harassment and alleged assault.
Who is Nick Starr-Street?
Starr-Street shared his account of what happened with WUSA9 on Tuesday morning.
He claimed his reaction to call police on both groups of black women had nothing to do with race.
"My sense of right and wrong is 0 or 100. I don't care," Starr-Street said.
He explained that he called security on a group of white women at the pool on Monday, but admitted he never recorded them or called Hyattsville police.
"I'm autistic. I just see right and wrong," Starr-Street explained. "I don't see race. I don't see gender. I don’t see color. I don't see any of that."
According to Ambitious About Autism, a charity for people with autism, it is common for some people on the autism spectrum to become single-minded.
"It's one thing to have a 'special interest,' but it’s another to have a serious obsession," the website states.
"I think because of the way that my mind works, I don't always click with other people," Starr-Street told WUSA9. "I don't understand when people get upset over the things that I say or do. To me, that’s just how I feel."
This is not the first time Starr-Street has been at the center of a social media firestorm and controversy.
In 2016, he made an insensitive comment to a popular drag queen on Twitter days after the deadly mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub.
The tweet read, "Seriously @RoxxxyAndrews? Isn't she a has-been not a star? Where her people at? I thought they were all shot."
He later apologized for the comment.
WUSA9 discovered Starr-Street has a history of making racially-charged, anti-LGBTQ, and explicit posts on social media.
Starr-Street said he has been receiving death threats, the front door of his home has been vandalized, and said he currently does not feel safe living in his apartment.
However, people who are commenting about the incidents from over the weekend seem to be siding with the black women involved and showing little to no sympathy for Starr-Street.
Starr-Street said he wanted for people to know his side of the story.
Read Hyattsville City Police Department full statement on the incident below:
"Dear Nixle User,
On the afternoon of Saturday, June 22, police received a call from a man at an apartment building at 3401 East-West Highway concerning a dispute between him and a group of women over the use of glassware by the building’s swimming pool. Police arrived, spoke to both parties, and apartment staff. Because they could not verify that a crime had occurred, the officers did not file a report, and both parties were told they could press charges if they chose to by contacting the district court. This is standard practice in such scenarios. None of the subjects were known to the officers or our police department at the time.
The following day, the police department received two calls from two parties concerning a similar dispute that was occurring on Sunday. The calls came from the same man involved on Saturday, and a different group of women. All of the subjects were unknown to the two officers who responded, as they were unaware of the incident on Saturday. Two of the women alleged the man had then followed them from the apartment building to a business. The man stated he followed them because one of them had slapped his phone from his hand during the initial argument on Sunday. Because officers had not witnessed the alleged misdemeanors, officers told both parties they could press charges if they chose to by contacting the district court. Again, this is standard practice in such scenarios."
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Edition Apartments released the following statement regarding the incident:
“Since we became aware of the disturbing events that recently occurred at the pool at The Edition, we have been actively pursuing options within the legal framework to promptly address and remove harmful behaviors and negative influences from The Edition.
The safety of the residents and visitors at The Edition remains our highest priority, and harassment of any nature will not be tolerated. We do not in any way condone this type of behavior. The Edition takes pride in being part of the Hyattsville community, and we will continue to work diligently to resolve this issue in a timely manner.”