A violinist was cited for disturbing the peace in San Jose over the weekend after the musician got into a confrontation with a merchant.
Gabriel Partida was playing his violin in the Willow Glen neighborhood Saturday when a shop manager asked him to turn down his speaker. The situation escalated from there, he said.
Lori Silverstein, president of Peninsula Beauty, said Partida followed the shop manager into the store, screaming and yelling at her.
Silverstein added that her manager felt threatened and called 311.
Police said Partida got aggressive and was briefly cuffed, but was eventually cited for disturbing the peace and for operating a sound amplifier without a permit.
Partida acknowledged that a loud exhchange occured after the confrontation.
"I was in the store front and we were interchanging loudly, me and the workers," Partida said. "OK, so I contributed to that. I don't deny that whatsoever."
The incident erupted on social media with a post on the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association Facebook page that criticized both the retailer, which it said acted in a "most disrespectful and petty manner" and police for "causing him to be humiliated." The post, which received hundreds of likes, shares and comments, praised Partida as "a cheerful, harmless, hard-working violin teacher."
"He adds character, ambience [sic] and enjoyment to the avenue; whereas, we’re devastated to see him treated this way," the post reads.
More than a few posters attack the manager and called for a boycott of the business that's been in the Willow Glenn neighborhood for 16 years. The association has since shared follow-up posts saying it now believes the store management was "well within her rights." The association said it is working with all parties involved to smooth over the situation.
"People got hurt, both Margo as well as Gabriel," said Richard Zappelli of the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association. "And somehow the neighborhood association got dragged into the middle of this thing."
Some of the posts reference the neighborhood association didn't get dragged in, but instead stirred the pot.
And for that, Silverstein is asking for an apology.
"I really think there needs to be an apology," she said. "If Richard had called us and asked us our side of the story prior to all of this blowing up, he would've heard what happened."
Meanwhile, Partida is looking to put to incident behind him.
"I don't need to fuel the fires or any embers that exist, so I'm going to stay away," he said.