Portland, OR – Professional skateboarder Charlie Wilkins has become the target of death threats on social media, after he was mistakenly identified as the anarchist who berated the widow of a New York police officer killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks (video below).
The video showed the woman as she stood on a street corner, facing away from a man in a black hooded sweatshirt.
“Why you tryin’ to block me? I’m tryin’ to f--kin walk here,” he yelled at the back of her head.
The woman paused for a moment, then told him she was obeying the traffic signal.
“You’re a f--king snarky little f--king idiot…should shut the f--k up,” he snarled at her.
The woman smiled, then told him to “try something, b--ch.”
The Antifa member said he wasn’t going to “punch” her like her husband or boyfriend would.
“I’m not like your cop boyfriend who’s gonna f--kin' knock you out, so don’t worry,” he said.
The woman then turned to face him, and pointed at her NYPD ball cap.
“My husband died in 9/11,” she said.
“Good for him – good!” the man retorted. “Your husband should probably f--king…rot in the grave.”
Although Wilkins bears a passing resemblance to the man seen in the Oct. 13 video, he and his wife insisted they were not anywhere near the protests, KGW reported.
“I went to the pumpkin patch in the afternoon and from there we went to a friend’s house and hung out with a 3-year-old,” Wilkins said.” I don't go to protests because I don't like to fuel the fire for anything…I'm just not that kind of a person, I'm non-violent, non-confrontational, I'm very mellow and chill.”
But as rumor that the man in the video was Wilkins grew on social media, the harassment and death threats began pouring in, he said.
“They’ve been writing things like, ‘we have friends who know where you hang out so you better watch your back,’” Wilkins said. Others have demanded that his sponsors fire him.
“People were being really vicious,” Wilkins’ wife, Victoria, told the Willamette Week. “I get it—what the guy [in the video] said was awful. It's an unfortunate resemblance, but people don't do their homework.”
“Now we're scared to leave the house, friends have been calling to ask if we're safe,” she said.
Wilkins posted a video statement to twitter on Thursday night in an effort to clear up the case of mistaken identity.
“I am not the guy in the video that was yelling that horrible stuff to that woman,” he said. “I think what that guy said was disgusting, and I would never say that to anybody. Please help me clear my name. Thank you.”
Brandon Farley, who shot the now-viral video of the Antifa member accosting the widow, also defended Wilkins on Thursday.
“I do not want to ruin an innocent man’s life!” Farley wrote in a Twitter post. “Stop this thoughtless tirade immediately! Get the facts! He’s not the guy in my videos. Keep searching or move on, please.”
Wilkins said he has filed a report with the police, and that some people have issued apologies and printed retractions as news of the misidentification has spread.
The true identity of the anarchist in the video remains unclear.
You can watch the viral footage in the video below. WARNING - Language: