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Homeowner's surveillance cameras capture 'aggressive' solicitor

TPD says after warnings to leave, it's trespassing
Posted at 4:02 PM, Oct 05, 2018

TAMPA, Fla. — You've probably gotten a knock on your door from a salesperson before, but one Tampa man says a solicitor went too far — even yelling at him and accusing him of racism.

“He was pretty angry and it went in a bad direction really quick," said Mark Duffey, who lives in the Palma Ceia area of South Tampa.

Duffey says his neighborhood has a big problem with solicitors, but nothing like what he experienced.

“I just said 'No solicitation, please. Thank you," he described, "I said it three times and that’s when he started to get really belligerent and really angry.”

You can hear the man saying in the surveillance video Duffey gave us saying, "I was just getting everybody to vote for me bro!" He also yelled, "You just write a [expletive] off because I'm black. That's racist."

“And he started pointing to his arm and saying ‘Is it because I’m black?’ Really? I’m just not interested," said Duffey.

We can't hear what Duffey is saying to him in the vide but Duffey says he told the guy to leave, talking to him through his window with a direct line of sight to the front door. He says he asked three times but the man refused.

"You hate black people, you hate black people? Yes, you do!" the man told Duffey in the video.

“I don’t care if it was a man or a woman, I don’t care what color what race. I’m just not interested," said Duffey.

Duffey says he called Tampa Police but officers told him soliciting isn't a crime. ABC Action News reached out to TPD and they told us while soliciting isn't a crime, if you've told the person to leave repeatedly and they refuse that's trespassing — a misdemeanor. In that case, you should call the non-emergency number and report it.

 Duffey says he's also considering adding signs to deter solicitors. 

“To me, that’s just like the old ‘stay off my lawn’ type of thing but I’m thinking I might have to do that," he said.