John "Pitmaster" Hackleman, owner of The Pit in Arroyo Grande, almost made it a full year before stepping in a pile of his own BS again.
Last year, he was attacked online for what some commenters saw as a promotion of domestic violence ("Cyber ninja fu!" Sept. 19, 2019). The problem wasn't so much his stupid meme about wanting to choke his wife's "F'ing neck," it was about his reaction to critics.
Apparently Hackleman can't control his emotions, which were on display again in a 20-minute Facebook rant that someone posted to YouTube on June 6 under the title "John Hackleman of The Pit, Arroyo Grande loses it after GeorgeFloyd BLM march. #BoycottThePit."
The current hubbub is tied to Hackleman's decision to place armed men on the roof of his gym during Arroyo Grande's peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on June 5, which caused shock and fear among the protesters who had gathered during the permitted march.
Among other things in his profanity-laced rant, Hackleman said, "What people have to realize is that these so-called peaceful demonstrations have turned mega-fucking ugly, mega-violent, mega-quickly. Think of Santa Monica, Minneapolis, L.A., some cities in Texas. Close to 20 people have died already, not because of police brutality, not because of the reasons—supposed reasons—that these riots started but because of violent rioters."
It's true that 17 people have died in connection to the riots, but most appear to be random shootings not directly associated with the protests. David McAtee, 53, was probably killed by Louisville Police or National Guard who heard gunfire and returned fire. Calvin Horton Jr., 43, was shot by a pawn shop owner allegedly protecting his business. The owner was booked on suspicion of murder but later released as the investigation continues. Jorge Gomez, 25, was shot by Las Vegas Police after he allegedly pointed a gun at them. Unlike others at the rally, Gomez was armed and wearing body armor. Jose Gutierrez, 28, an apparent bystander during some looting in Cicero, Illinois, was shot by Zion Haygood, who was charged with first-degree murder. Marvin Francois, 50, was shot and killed by three carjackers after a protest.
The closest violence to what Hackleman seems to allude to was, according to Fox Business, a "machete-wielding man in Dallas" who "was brutally beaten by rioters on Saturday night after police said he was trying to 'protect his neighborhood from protesters.'"
A machete? Just imagine if the dude had an assault rifle! There'd be a bunch of dead people, and the man would probably be in jail instead of "an area hospital in stable condition."
Good grief, Hackleman. I thought your gym taught martial arts. Why do you need an armed cowboy in a soldier costume on your roof? Can't you just kung fu a looter with a flying roundhouse or something? What the hell would looters even take? Do you think they want your sweaty wrestling mats or stinky punching bags?
Hackleman went on to attack those calling for a boycott on his gym, in particular someone named Jenn Beloved: "Now we're hearing fucking lunatics say we should be boycotted because we were protecting our business? Are you kidding me? What kind of lowlife piece of shit would say something like that? What would you do if someone broke into your house with a fucking gun or a knife or a fucking ax? Would you just let 'em beat you? Probably would! Those are the kinds of people that do those kinds ... never mind. That was a bad question."
I personally would run and tell my little Shredder offspring to run too, and then I'd call the police. Hackleman, however, thinks it's OK to kill someone who tries to break into his gym.
"Now for me wanting to protect my gym, people want to talk about boycotting my gym?" Hackleman raged. "Fuck you! If anybody is against me protecting my gym, I don't want you at my gym. You're not the kind of person I want to teach martial arts to.
"Jenn Beloved, what the fuck are thinking?" he continued. "What would you do? By the looks of you, you don't have any kids, but if you did and someone was attacking you or one of your children would you not protect them? You are disgusting."
Ooohhh! Ripped that right out of the Donald J. Trump misogynist playbook!
"Look at a picture of her and it'll be self-explanatory," Hackleman added.
Arroyo Grande Mayor Caren Ray Russom, inundated by citizen complaints, took to her Facebook to explain disappointedly that Hackleman's armed guard "was legal."
"I personally am sorry this business owner did this," Russom added. "I think it unnecessarily divided our community."
On June 8, Hackleman calmed down enough to go back on Facebook and apologize: "I want to say I'm sorry to anyone I scared on Friday night. I guess I scared some people ... that was not my intention by any means."
Then he spent another four minutes rationalizing his rooftop sniper. Then he said he admitted he was "scared." Then he said he was sorry for his 20-minute rant video because he was "frustrated."
I guess you can't punch your way out of a boycott. Be calm, grasshopper. Δ
The Shredder doesn't know karate but it knows the fetal position. Send comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.