Bicyclist who videotaped Santa Ana River Trail homeless wishes he’d done things differently

Jay Mendoza never anticipated the video he shot of camping tent encampments inhabited by homeless people along the Santa Ana River Route in Orange County to obtain the kind of focus it did. And also it’s caused him some suffering.

In July, Mendoza, who resides in Anaheim, connected a GoPro electronic camera to his bike headgear and also opted for a trip, catching the journey as he and also a good friend rolled past the outdoors tents as well as tarps that offer as houses for hundreds of individuals that survive on the bike path in Orange and Anaheim. As he filmed, he included his very own narrative — — highlighted in captions — — defining he saw as well as listened to and scented as he rode the river.

“Damn, they understand the best ways to event,” he quips as he flights past stacks of trash as well as assorted particles.

“Oooh, it stinks,” he continues. And also, referring to presumed bike “chop stores” made up of taken bikes and also parts, “Ay, is the bike shop over right here?” Then later on: “Tweaker all over.” “Damn … … it’s neverending.” “& ldquo; Generator. They & rsquo; re among the ballers, huh. They got electrical energy.”

& rdquo; Mendoza’s movie struck a nerve. Considering that he published it on Facebook and also YouTube, the six-minute clip has been seen greater than 1.5 million times worldwide.

And also his job has attracted countless comments.

Some share shock about the terrible living problems in an area — — Orange Area — extensively checked out as a place of care free wealth. Lots of others are intended at the people themselves; couple of are free of charge or considerate.

To those that consider the homeless people at the riverbed a source of blight as well as criminal activity, the pictures and also narration from Mendoza emphasized the demand for regional authorities to increase police and also clear out the encampments — — something the county is currently positioned to do with a

looming Jan. 22 due date. Yet to supporters who ask for more services as well as real estate to soothe the situation, Mendoza’s video was viewed as a drive-by assault.

“I was obtaining primarily people that were surprised,” he stated. “After that, eventually, I started getting hate remarks as well as people stating I was unsympathetic.”

Today, Mendoza regrets just what he currently views as shallow and sarcastic remarks he uttered on the fly.

“I made some foolish discuss that video, like some immature remarks,” states the 33-year-old cyclist.

“I wasn’& rsquo; t actually assuming that this video clip was mosting likely to go viral. And I wasn’& rsquo; t actually discussing the entire homeless area.”

What Mendoza did consider: Old close friends of his very own, now on the streets, with lives specified by drug abuse or mental disorder.

He remembers seeing one young woman particularly, who stood dazed, in the middle of the bike route, displaying telltale indications of medication abuse. “You see a great deal of people with cuts or scabs on their face, due to the fact that they’& rsquo; re always selecting at themselves.”

Yet Mendoza states currently he was wrong to provide the perception that everybody along the path is up to no good. Exactly how could he discern that as he sped by without stopping to speak with anybody?

He later included this afterthought to his Facebook message: “Apologies to those offended by the discourse. These jokes were made based from individual experiences of losing friends to these roads due to drug addiction, as well as recouping taken bikes from a slice shop. We recognize not all homeless are drug abuser or thieves.”

Still, Mendoza says he would certainly shoot that same video clip all over once again — — because it opened up a great deal of people’s eyes to a place and a circumstances most had actually never seen that close up, neither ever before will. But, rather than narration, he states he ‘d keep his mouth shut.

“Not make anymore jokes,” he states. “Just take it significant.”

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