MESA, Ariz. — It’s the screaming match gone viral: cell phone video of homeowner Bill Jaffa calling police on a woman hiking the Hawes Loop Trail in Arizona last month, KPHO reported.
“I spoke with the woman and the city manager. Yes, I’ve got a woman trespassing on my property. Could you send police over right away? We feel that we’re threatened,” heard in the video of Jaffa and the woman.
“It’s an emergency! It’s not an emergency. I’m on the trail at Las Sendas,” the two argue.
According to neighbor Nathan Rassi, it’s not the first time this has happened.
“I’ve heard of quite a few occurrences of him blocking people or trying to discourage hikers,” said Rassi.
Jaffa said hikers are crossing his property line, but the City of Mesa said hikers haven’t trespassed at all.
City of Mesa officials told us in a statement the trail is owned by the City, and that in July, they rerouted a portion of the trail to be extra careful, which actually shifted it even further away from Jaffa’s property.
“The woman is very aggressive. I am not aggressive!” the two argue in the video. “I can’t tell if she has weapons or not. Oh, for heaven’s sake!”
But Rassi told us the confrontation blew up on the Nextdoor app. Many were upset with how Jaffa spoke to the woman.
“We want her arrested. We have officers in route thank you,” heard in the video.
Jaffa declined to go on camera but told us while building this new home, hikers walking on his property line have caused him and his wife stress. But he also is saying sorry, writing, “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.”
Mesa officials say they’ll be putting up a fence barrier in the next few weeks to make the property line even more clear.
Full statement from Bill Jaffa can be read below.
To Whom It May Concern: Recently, I, Bill Jaffa, had an interaction with a hiker by a home I am in the process of building in the City of Mesa. The process has been long and frustrating, which includes dealing with the City of Mesa and the positioning of this hiking trail by my new home. Needless to say, I could have handled the situation with this particular hiker better. My actions were not the result of this one hiker, but all of the issues we have had to deal with over a period of months/years. The City of Mesa moved the trail North, away from the property because of the hazard it created after we started building our home and had to erect steep retaining walls, in some areas, 30 feet high. The old trail had become a hazard to hikers and a liability issue as well. A small group of hikers who are continuing to walk on our property line has created tremendous stress on my wife and me, as there have been ongoing issues following the re-routing of the trail away from the retaining walls. As of August 13, 2018, the City of Mesa affirmed that the newly re-routed trail will stay in place and help ensure that hikers remain safe, and additionally noted that new signage will be added to provide direction, if needed. I do not offer this explanation as an excuse, but in hopes of providing some understanding in which I am sure many of you may even relate to in some way shape or form. Lastly, 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. I also want to apologize to the members of the community that have been impacted. My wife and I love Las Sendas, it has been our dream to build our home here and to participate in the community. My wife and I believe Las Sendas is the best community in the Valley, and we want nothing less than the best for all of us.
Full statement from City of Mesa can be read below.
The trail is owned by the City of Mesa.
In July, the City rerouted a portion of the Hawes Loop Trail out of an abundance of caution concerning a potential drop-off next to the trail and directly above the Jaffa’s property, which could cause injury to bikers and hikers. This new part of the trail was never on Mr. Jaffa’s property. In fact, it shifted the trail farther away from his property. The City of Mesa is going to place a fence barrier that will clearly mark the property line for the City as well as the property owned by Mr. Jaffa. We expect the fence barrier, which will be on City property, installed within the next few weeks.