G. Michael Pendon — the artist better known as DJ Jester, the Filipino Fist — set out for a nighttime bike ride Saturday just north of the University of Texas campus, leaving after dark to escape the oppressive daytime heat.
His ride turned harrowing when a group of people in a pickup truck repeatedly harassed him with racist and homophobic slurs, with one man jumping out of the truck to threaten him face to face, Pendon told the American-Statesman on Monday after posting about the incident on social media.
An avid cyclist, Pendon said he rode down the bike lane on Duval Street heading toward campus. He took a turn on 30th Street and stopped in front of the Windtree Condos to adjust the lights on his bike when he said a large, dark gray truck pulled up next to him, carrying men he described as "Caucasian, well-dressed dudes" in their early 20s in the front seat.
First, they berated him for wearing a helmet, he said. The men turned into the parking garage of the condo complex, then circled back around twice, addressing him multiple times using a derogatory slur aimed at people of Chinese descent and a homophobic slur, he said.
When Pendon took out his camera to try to film the men, he said they became agitated and took off down the street.
"I'm still standing there because I don't want to go down 30th Street because it's dark and I was just thinking to myself, if I go down 30th Street, they could just hit me with their truck," Pendon said.
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Pendon said the truck pulled back into the parking lot and the driver came running at him from a back alley. He said the man took out his camera and started filming.
"I was backing my bike up while I was sitting on it, dumbfounded, and asked him why he was doing it, trying to tell him, ‘I don’t even know you, bro,’" Pendon said.
"Then he shoos me off," Pendon said. "He literally says ‘git’ like ‘git out of here’ like I’m an animal or something."
Pendon took off on his bike down 30th Street, he said. Pendon said he stopped in front of the Trudy’s restaurant near the intersection of 30th and Guadalupe streets and called his sister and then the police.
"I was really, really shook up because this guy was, like, constantly like, calling me a (expletive)," Pendon said. "The way he was coming at me was like the Terminator, you know, like he didn't care."
"My parents are immigrants (from the Philippines) that met in Texas in the ’60s. They have stories like this, but that was ages ago," Pendon said. Sharing his son’s social media post about the incident, Pendon’s father wrote that he was so angry he cried.
Pendon is seeking security camera footage from the condo development and nearby businesses to help identify the men who he said harassed him.
Austin Police Department confirmed to the American-Statesman that there is an open investigation into Pendon’s report.