A Filipino-Thai fisherman got into a heated argument with “Karen’s husband Ken” who threatened to call the police on him and his friends if they refused to move from their fishing spot.
Bobby Aperocho, of Daly City, and his fishing buddies arrived at the spot at around 3:30 a.m. on August 1 in Benicia, California.
The fisherman told NextShark that he and his three Hmong friends had to drive around for an hour and a half to get that spot. They waited to fish until high tide at 1:30 p.m. when a local fisherman, identified by Aperocho only as Randy, and his friend, Dan, approached the group.
“I don’t care if you got here at 2 o’clock or not, this is all our territory,” the man told Aperocho in a GoPro video posted on YouTube.
Aperocho believes that Randy was not racially profiling him and his friends. He only referred to the man as a “Ken,” or a male “Karen,” because he threatened to call the police on the fishermen.
“He was gonna call the cops on us for being there first and not wanting to move because he thinks he’s somewhat entitled,” Aperocho explained. “It wasn’t anything about race.”
In a post shared with NextShark and Facebook group Slack Tide,
Aperocho recounted that a couple passing by ended up calling Benicia Police on Randy and deescalated the situation by telling the man “it was a waste of their time coming out for some petty crap.”
Once the police departed the scene, Aperocho accepted Randy’s apology, but the man was not out of the water.
“We shook hands later in the day but I still made that promise I was gonna post the video,” he said.
Teri Davena, Economic Development Division for the City of Benicia, who has seen the footage, emphasized that Randy’s actions do not reflect the city and its residents.
“We want to stress this was the action of one fisherman and is not representative of residents or visiting fishermen in Benicia, many of whom were in vocal support of the visiting fisherman in the video. Benicia Police Officers responded and made it clear that there are no reserved spots, confirming that fishing is on first come, first served basis. No further action was taken,” Davena said in a statement to NextShark.
While the argument did not lead to a physical altercation, Aperocho’s message about adamantly standing up for yourself is clear:
“No one should ever have to experience this. This behavior is absolutely unacceptable for any race and people need to speak up.”