A Native-American autistic man says an Obama appointee in the Department of Education called him a “weetard,” spat on him and savagely beat him – to the point where he needed three surgeries – because he wore a Washington Redskins sweater.
Barrett Dahl, 28, said he attended a Native American event in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 30, 2015.
That’s when, he says, Obama appointee William Mendoza, also Native American, noticed Dahl’s apparel.
“He comes to me and says, ‘You’re a ‘weetard’ for wearing a Redskins shirt,’” Dahl told Oklahoma City’s KFOR-TV 4.
“He says, ‘Where are you from that you’re such a ‘weetard,’ you don’t understand that you’re offending me?’”
Dahl, who is reportedly of the Sac and Fox Nation, said he was hospitalized for his injuries and required three surgeries that cost him $40,000.
Mendoza, who is of the Oglala-Sicangu Lakota people and opposes the use of Native Americans as mascots, handles Native American affairs in the Department of Education.
According to the U.S. Department of Education website, Mendoza was appointed as executive director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education in December 2011. That’s when Obama established the initiative by executive order. Mendoza’s salary was $138,871 in 2015.
WND’s messages left with the U.S. Department of Education hadn’t been returned at the time of this report.
Dahl said he wore the sweater to show “cultural pride” at the D.C. event. He claims the clothing angered Mendoza.
“He spits right in my face,” Dahl said of the incident. “The boy sitting next to me sees it. He doesn’t say anything. So I get up and leave the ballroom to get the police.”
But Mendoza wouldn’t let him make it that far, Dahl claims.
He said Mendoza found him in an escalator and brutally beat him until he suffered a fractured arm, broken teeth and a black eye.
Dahl says, since the three surgeries cost $40,000, his parents are struggling with a possible foreclosure on their home.
“What bothers me the most about this, first off, we’ve lost everything we have, and he lost nothing,” he said. “He’s kept his job, his home, his family.
“And, second off, there’s no doubt in my mind that this person would do the same thing to a young child who was wearing a Redskins shirt.”
However, Mendoza told Oklahoma City’s News9.com he approached Dahl and politely inquired about the words “INJUN PIMP” on the back of Dahl’s sweater.
And, he says, Dahl became aggressive.
Mendoza claims Dahl said, “I don’t have to (expletive) explain (expletive) to you. If you want to step outside and take this outside, I’d be happy to explain it to you.”
Dahl told News9.com that his shirt actually said, “INJUN PLAYER.”
Mendoza claims he apologized to Dahl and tried to shake his hand, but, he said, Dahl attacked him.
“He was holding a cup in his hand,” Mendoza said, according to the London Daily Mail, “at which point, he threw its contents that was the smell of coffee and was hot, but not scalding.
“He then punched me in the face (right cheek). I tried to grab him, but we both fell.”
Dahl said he plans to sue Mendoza for the cost of his medical treatment. But Mendoza’s lawyer tells WND Mendoza suffered several injuries and is now contemplating legal action against Dahl.
Mendoza’s attorney, Mark Zaid, told WND, “Mr. Mendoza suffered a fractured wrist, injuries to his knees that still plague him and various bruises that hurt for quite a period of time. He went to urgent care, which then sent him to the hospital emergency room. He incurred approximately $4,300 in medical costs, although insurance covered most of it.”
Zaid continued, “Neither Mr. Dahl nor Mr. Mendoza pressed charged against one another. There was an internal police report, but we have never seen it. From what I can tell, the police determined that neither man was significantly injured, that no crime occurred, and simply instructed them both to vacate the premises, which they did.”
Asked if there were witnesses to the altercation, Zaid explained:
“There were multiple witnesses to different aspects of the incident. No one person witnessed the altercation from start to finish. For example, numerous third parties saw Mr. Dahl wearing the Redskins’ jersey with the words INJUN PIMP on the back. Others saw Mr. Dahl be the aggressor against Mr. Mendoza during their initial discussion.”
Zaid said several eyewitnesses posted stories of what they saw under a news article published in the Durango Herald.
Mendoza’s attorney also called Dahl’s accusations “completely false and highly defamatory.”
He continued, “Other than the fact Mr. Mendoza did approach Mr. Dahl to discuss his jersey, everything else Mr. Dahl has claimed is fictional. In fact, his story of what allegedly occurred seemingly gets worse as he feels emboldened to spread his lies. Mr. Mendoza is a respected member of the Native American community and a senior official within the U.S. Government who works tirelessly for Native American interests, including those of Mr. Dahl. This unfortunate incident was, as every known eyewitness has stated, unilaterally sparked by Mr. Dahl’s hostile and aggressive behavior arising from his wearing of a racist and insensitive jersey specifically with ‘INJUN PIMP’ on the back in front of children at a Native American conference.
“The smear campaign initiated by Mr. Dahl has led to threats received by Mr. Mendoza from Mr. Dahl’s friends. While it is not the preferred choice, Mr. Mendoza is now contemplating initiating legal action against Mr. Dahl wherein he would be required to provide testimony under oath.”