Couple Targets Puerto Ricans, Accuses Them of Illegal Status

A Couple Confronts Puerto Rican Landscapers; Martin Was Just Doing His Job. What Upset the Couple? Local Authorities Demand Apologies.

A couple caught on video confronting landscapers in their neighborhood was arrested on Thursday, October 12th for their “hostile behavior.” The arrested individuals claimed they were intoxicated during the Sunday confrontation, according to a police affidavit. Robert Shaw, 62, and Sharon Bourgeois-Williams, 58, turned themselves in and were charged with disorderly conduct, the police said. But before you continue reading, we invite you to listen to Sargento Podcast by CLICKING HERE.

Photo: MundoNOW

The police said they arrested the couple because their actions prevented one of the gardening employees from freely moving on the road, where the altercation took place. Their actions are shown in a seven-minute video posted on Facebook by Brenda de Jesús, daughter-in-law of José Martin, owner of J. Martin Landscaping, who was working on Frisbie Street with his brother on Sunday when Shaw and Bourgeois-Williams approached them. “I was doing my job when these two individuals came up to me saying that I was making ‘too much noise’ while I was mowing the lawn,” they questioned, “Are you here legally?” The couple accuses Puerto Ricans in the video. Photo: Shutterstock

In the video, you can see how they decided to confront the situation. Please share this to raise awareness,” Martin wrote in his Facebook post with the video. According to a police affidavit, an officer went to Frisbie Street on Sunday and spoke with Martin, who reported that Bourgeois-Williams berated him and his brother and questioned their immigration status. “You guys are clowns. Do you have a visa? Do you have a visa to be here? Do you have a visa to be here? Are you here legally?” were some of the couple’s comments.

The officers spoke with the couple afterward and noticed that both were slurring their words at the time. Bourgeois-Williams said that Martin’s work noise was continuous throughout the day and thought it was a violation of the noise ordinance. The police returned to the couple’s home on Thursday after a report that someone had thrown trash in their front yard. During that conversation, they admitted to being intoxicated during their confrontation with Martin and said that what they had done was wrong, according to the affidavit.

The attackers apologized to Martin. Photo: Shutterstock

The couple noted on Thursday that trash had been thrown on their property, said they had received threats on social media, and feared being violently attacked. “We made a mistake, we were having a hard day, and they were making a lot of noise,” Shaw said while shaking on his porch Thursday afternoon. “We apologize, we were wrong, and we know it.” Martin, on the other hand, said he resides in East Hartford and normally does not work in Middletown. However, a client hired him to do the job on Frisbie Street, which, according to him, involved mowing the lawn, clearing leaves, and trimming shrubs and trees.

Authorities intervened in the incident. Photo: Facebook Brenda De Jesús

The landscapers were at the house around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, and the confrontation occurred shortly before 4 p.m., Martin said. Mayor Ben Florsheim responded to the video on Facebook and stated that he approached Martin to apologize for how he was treated in the city. “Like many of you, I was horrified to see the video circulating on Facebook of José and his staff being bombarded with insults and racist comments,” Florsheim wrote. The police said Shaw and Bourgeois-Williams were released on $10,000 bail and both must appear in court on October 26th. CLICK HERE to watch the video. Related Article.