“Are you here legally, are you here legally?” a woman was seen on video saying.
A frightening encounter for Jose Martin who recorded a seven-minute video Sunday in Middletown.
“[I was] a little worried because I was believing the guy was going to attack us,” said J. Martin Landscaping owner Jose Martin said.
Martin said he was finishing up a landscaping job on Frisbie Street when two people approached him and his brother. At first, he though the woman was asking about his business.
“Then she started cursing at me in the beginning so I pulled out my phone and I knew this was going to be a problem,” Martin said.
Martin said the pair hurled multiple racial remarks at him and his brother.
“This is why we need a border wall. Right here, this is why we need a border wall. Get these clowns out of here,” an identified man said on video.
“Do you have a visa to be here? Do you have a visa to be here? You don’t even have a visa, do you?” the woman said in the video.
Martin said he and his brother were born in Puerto Rico and are American citizens.
“We work hard for our living, this is a really tough job, and this is not an easy job,” Martin said.
Martin said later in the day, he received a text from one of the individuals asking if he had a green card. The next day, the same number texted him to apologize and said “the noise on my day off got to me.”
“So I sent a video, look at how you treat me,” Martin said.
Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim said in a Facebook post:
“Like many of you I was horrified to see the video making the rounds on Facebook of José Martín and his staff being barraged with insults and racist remarks by two people who live in Middletown.
Let me be clear, we don’t tolerate this type of behavior in Middletown and it doesn’t represent who we work to be as a community.
My staff has reached out to Mr. Martin to offer our apologies for the way he was treated while working in our City. We never want anyone to think what you saw on that video is what you get when you come to Middletown.
I’ve also been in touch with our PD to see what, if any, action can be taken against the couple seen hurling insults and slurs at Mr. Martin and his employee.
To everyone who has seen the video and been affected by the behavior captured within, I’m sorry that you anyone was treated this way and that so many had to witness it. We strive to do better in Middletown and know that it’s a constant work in progress. Please know that we are always working to be better.”
The city’s police department is investigating and working with the State’s Attorney’s Office to see if charge are appropriate.
NBC Connecticut tried contacting the man and woman shown in the video, but they declined to comment.