CHATWSWORTH (CBSLA) — Cell phone video of a Chatsworth woman hitting her neighbor’s car with a hammer and then going on a racist tirade this past weekend has been shared widely on social media.
“I asked her, ‘What have we done to offend you. Please let us know,'” Natalie Mason, who witnessed the incident, said. “I was trying to calm her down, but she didn’t respond.”
Mason is the roommate of the man who owns the car. He was in Florida for work when it happened, but Mason and the man’s sister were home at the time. They said they came outside after they heard the banging.
“I really thought it was an ex-girlfriend, an angry ex-girlfriend,” Mason said.
But it turned out that the woman damaging the car was their neighbor, a woman Mason said they have had run-ins with in the past and who has repeatedly told them to go back to Mexico.
“It’s kind of hard to explain to the kids, because they witnessed it,” Mason said. “It’s kind of hard to explain, you know, what racism is.”
Another neighbor who heard the commotion came out and restrained the woman.
The victims said the police told them the woman was upset with where the car was parked — even though it was on a public street — because she felt it was too close to where she parked her car.
“There’s more than 50 dents on that car,” Mason said.
The owner of the car said he only has liability insurance for the vehicle and set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of the damage. As of Monday afternoon, more than $12,000 had been raised.
Mason said she hopes people take the video seriously.
“It’s not funny,” she said. “It’s really sad to see somebody at that age act that way, but I think at the same time it brings awareness to what can really happen.”
The Los Angeles Police Department said the woman was booked on suspicion of felony vandalism, but her bail was set at zero due to the COVID-19 pandemic and she was released the following morning.