MESA, Ariz. (CBS Local) – A property dispute has gone viral after an Arizona homeowner was filmed calling police on a hiker he claimed had roamed onto his land.
A July YouTube video captures Mesa resident Bill Jaffa, a former city councilman, cutting off an unnamed hiker to confront her over using a hiking trail near Jaffa’s home. Jaffa and the female hiker, who claimed to be a U.S. military veteran, argue as the homeowner calls police on the woman.
The video, which has been seen nearly 90,000 times on YouTube, shows Jaffa claiming that the woman had strayed onto his property and telling local police the hiker was being aggressive even though no violence is ever seen on camera.
“I’ve got a woman trespassing on my property. Could you send police over right away? We feel that we’re threatened,” Jaffa told a 911 dispatcher in the July 14 video.
Jaffa has allegedly confronted multiple hikers he claimed had roamed onto his private property, his neighbors told azfamily.com. “I’ve heard of quite a few occurrences of him blocking people or trying to discourage hikers,” neighbor Nathan Rassi told reporters.
Despite the trespassing claims, Mesa officials say the disputed hiking trail is not on the former councilman’s property and added that a new fence marking where Jaffa’s property line actually falls will be installed.
After demanding to have the woman arrested during the incident, Jaffa recently apologized for his actions in the YouTube clip. “It was not my intention to cause stress to this hiker, for that is not who I am as an individual, or professional, but want to offer my apologies for any anxiety I may have caused her,” he said in a statement.