A now-viral video from April 17 shows a White man angrily getting out of his car and approaching a Black woman and her 3-year-old child after she drove around him in a parking lot, saying he would “blow your f***ing head off.” Just a week later, a 53-year-old man in Stow, Ohio, was charged with a felony and condemned by local officials and community members.
The victim of the incident, Kiauna Larkins, told CBS News that she was delivering a Door Dash order at Wyndham Ridge Apartments when she was verbally attacked by the man, who police have identified as James Rhodes. She said she had driven her car around Rhodes when he got out and immediately started to yell at her. Her 3-year-old child was with her at the time.
Larkins recorded the interaction, which shows a man getting out of his car and immediately telling her to “Get the f*** out of here.”
“I pay $1,000 a month here. … F*** you,” the man said to Larkins. He then called her racial slurs and threatened her while her child can be heard making sounds in the background.
“I’m racist. I’m a racist motherf***er. I got an AK-47 right now in my f***ing godd*** car. I’ll blow your f***ing head off.”
Other videos of the interaction show witnesses attempting to stand up for Larkins.
“You don’t call her names because you’re pissed,” one woman yelled at Rhodes after she got out of her car. When she told him that he’s a racist, he responded, “Yeah, I am. … I’m tired of this sh** in this country … F*** you and everybody that looks like you.”
Several other people were heard yelling at him in the video.
He is also seen encouraging Larkins to “call the cops” because she was “driving erratically.”
Three days after the incident, Wyndham Ridge Apartments, where Rhodes lives, posted on Instagram that it does “not tolerate or condone any kind of racist, threatening language and overt threats of violence.”
“On Monday, April 19, Wyndham Ridge served the resident with a notice to leave the premises, and he has agreed to move,” management said in the post. “We are committed to creating a safe, secure and inclusive environment at Wyndham Ridge, and we will continue to take proactive steps to resolve the situation.”
Stow Police said Rhodes attempted to justify his statements and said that he had let his anger get the best of him. A spokesman said Rhodes told investigators he doesn’t actually own any weapons, but police didn’t say whether they verified if he was telling the truth.
The spokesperson also said that in an interview with police, Rhodes admitted he lost his cool and was only “slightly remorseful.” He has been charged with both aggravated menacing and ethnic intimidation, which is a felony hate crime.
On Tuesday, Stow Mayor John Pribonic also released a statement that the city is “well aware” of the “unfortunate and despicable” incident that occurred.
“As a Stow resident for over 25 years, it saddens me to think that this incident could in any way define our City for those who are otherwise unfamiliar with Stow. The community that I know and love absolutely condemns the behavior displayed on the video, and instead, chooses the principles of kindness, tolerance and inclusivity to guide our daily actions and beliefs,” Pribonic said. “Let me be clear — there is no place for violence, racism or intolerance in the City of Stow.”