A black man took to social media to express his outrage after a white man verbally accosted him in the lobby of his own apartment building in an exchange caught on video.
"What are you doing in my building?" the unidentified man, who has now been dubbed "Hallway Harry" by social media, said in the video posted on Facebook. "You don't live here."
But even after Chika Okafor, 29, and his friend insisted that he did live in the New York City apartment building, the man continued to insist they were intruders.
"You don't live here. I've never seen you before," he said. "I've lived here 27 years."
Okafor works as a producer for the Bleacher Report and said in the social media post that he had been living in the building, as a sublet, since mid-December of last year.
On the night of the altercation, he and a friend had gone down to the lobby of his building to wait for a Lyft they had called to take them to his company Christmas party, according to The New York Times.
The men began recording the incident after they claimed in the video that they had overheard the man ask, "Who the f--k are these guys?" after seeing them in the lobby.
After initially insisting the men did not live in the apartment, "Hallway Harry" then demanded to know what apartment building Okafor lives in.
Okafor refused to provide the information, saying, "None of your business."
The unidentified man insisted the interrogation wasn't racially motivated, telling the men, "I do it to white people, too," before Okafor and his friend left the building when their car arrived.
Okafor called the man's behavior "appalling but honestly, not surprising," in his social media post and later told The New York Times he had been "insulted."
“I felt violated. To me, his behavior suggested that, one, because we were people of color we were a threat to their safety, and, two, because we are people of color we can’t afford to live in that type of apartment complex," he told the paper.
Later that night, the same man also allegedly harassed a white couple who were trying to enter the building after renting an apartment through Airbnb while traveling to the city for the holidays.
Janah Reynolds posted a video of that encounter in the comments section of Okafor's post. Reynolds said she and her husband had gone out for the night after leaving their children at the rented apartment with her mother-in-law. When they returned that night, they were prevented from entering the building by the same man who had run into Okafor earlier. He told the couple it was illegal to rent out the apartment for just a few nights, The New York Times reports.
It's not clear whether the apartment's owner had the legal authority to rent out the apartment or not.
In that video, after Reynolds can be heard telling the man they were from Hong Kong and wouldn't have known whether there were restrictions about renting the apartment out for short periods of time, "Hallway Harry" can be heard saying, "Then maybe you're a little more retarded than the average person."
As the heated exchange continued, Reynolds said the man put his hands on her twice. The couple called the cops six times, but after waiting for more than two hours for police to arrive, they eventually convinced the man to let them inside so they could be reunited with their children, WNBC reports.
"We honestly just needed to get to our kids," Reynolds wrote on the post, after being asked why she didn't press charges.
Okafor also doesn't plan to press charges, but is hoping for an apology and would like to see his neighbor evicted, according to The Times.
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