A local journalist used his camera and weird, profane shouting to stop an apparent Commons Park assault

Jojola’s a bit down on himself, saying that the video of the incident contains “loads of douchey statements made by me.”

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

We reported yesterday that Denver Parks and Recreation is deploying a system of advanced cameras to several parks. We expected to hear some strong opinions, but let’s just say that we weren’t prepared for these words out of 9News investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola’s mouth:

“I’m gonna [expletive] knock your [religion-themed expletive] [slang reference to male genitalia] in the dirt.”

(Warning: We’ll get to the actual language in a moment.)

Now, he thankfully didn’t say that to us. Instead, he said it last year to a young man who allegedly was attacking a woman in Commons Park last year.

Jojola spotted the apparent assault and moved to intervene, as he wrote on his personal blog today. He started his camera running — “the best witness, especially in situations when someone may be doing something wrong,” he writes — and started shouting at the attacker, who apparently had pinned the young woman to the ground.

“Hey. Hey, god damn it. You get the fuck off of her right now before I fu – I’m gonna fucking knock your god damn dick in the dirt.”

Jojola’s a bit down on himself, saying that the video of the incident contains “loads of douchey statements made by me.” Whatever — it worked well enough that the young woman was able to flee. Props to him for his presence of mind.

The camera footage resulted in a misdemeanor assault charge against Simplicio Mendez-Santos, who now is wanted for failure to appear and has since been charged in another assault, according to Jojola.

If nothing else, it’s a good demonstration of the power of video evidence. Whether or not you want to constantly be monitored is another question. Don Cohen, the president of the Riverfront Park Association, recently told me that the sacrifice of privacy in public is a tradeoff for safety in fast-developing urban areas.

Less importantly: Where on earth did Jojola get those particular words?

Most likely the 1985 film The Breakfast Club.

Alternatively, it could have been the 1984 hit “Dick in the Dirt,” a Sammy Hagar song that refers to a man named Dick who is allegedly knocked by a woman into the dirt. (Unless there’s some kind of convoluted, obscene reference going on here…)

And the wherewithal to even say such an unusual and complete sentence? Jojola admits that it may be his video-game trash-talking skills.

“My call of duty voice came out,” he wrote us on Twitter.