As some of you may already know, I was involved in an altercation at AFM round 3 with Monte Izatt. As “punishment” for my actions, I was informed today that the Board decided that I was to sit out the next round (AFM R4 at Thunderhill). That I’m not permitted to even be on the premises during the event.
Firstly, I’d like to apologize to all my season pass holders. I’m sorry that I won’t be there to shoot for you guys. It really bums me out. I’ll figure out a way to make it up to you guys tho. And if you have any specific needs or concerns, please contact me and let me know.
////EDIT FOR UPDATE/// Max Klein of OxymoronPhotography has graciously stepped up and offered to take care of all my season pass holders! You’re a gem, Max, thank you!
Secondly, I’ll simply itterate the events that led to this decision:
The altercation was initially spawned from a post he’d made on my 4theriders facebook fan page, which read:
Shortly followed thereafter by:
I took a screen shot and posted it to my personal facebook page saying something to the effect of “I don’t even know what this means! haha!”
Eventually, after much bashing, Monte posted this:
And that’s the entire back story. Mind you, I don’t even know the guy. As far as I know, I’d never even met him before.
Subsequently, I receive DOZENS of text messages, emails, PMs, and phone calls about who Monte is, how he’s caused quite a stir in MiniMoto USA with having tried to start fights, assaulting a Pit Mom, throwing his kid’s pocketbike repeatedly at the fence, boo’ing the children on the podium, and other acts unbecoming; That he’s a general nuisance. He was banned from ever returning to MiniMotoUSA.
Skip forward to Saturday at AFM about a week after the above posts, and I see Monte on his bike in the hot pits as I’m about to go take photos. I says to him, “I’m Joe from 4theriders. What did you want to settle up with?” He replies, “I want pictres!” I says “Oh, okay, cool.” Lastly, he says “I’m pitted all the way down at the end. Come talk to me after practice.”
No big deal. Situation clarified.
That evening, while Kinsy and myself were sitting on the wall yammering with a bunch of friends down by the hot pits, Monte rides up on his scooter via the hot pit, appearantly inebriated and hostile. I honestly don’t even remember exactly what he was saying as he scootered over and leaned on Kinsy while staring at me and talking garbage. I was a little confused at first, as it was so unexpected. Then I was immediately on the defensive as he quite literally just came over and leaned on her, almost pushing her off the wall.
I warned him twice, “you need to take a step back”. The third time, I wasn’t as polite. I stood up, and told him that he needed “to move the fuck back.”
Meanwhile, he’s talking the entire time…negatively…but I can’t quote him as I was more focused on keeping my guard up as he seemed pretty off and unpredictable. The warnings from all the people that had messaged me and such were ringing in my head too. Honestly, I even scanned his pockets to see if he had a knife or anything.
I’ll post my exact (typo’s and all) formal submission to the AFM of the entire situation so I’m not repeating myself too much:
Some days prior to arriving at the track, Monte had made a post to my fan page that I didn’t quite understand. It had a negative connotation, but I wasn’t able to fully interpret it’s meaning. Later, he made another post saying that we would “settle up” at Round 3.
Saturday evening, after practice and racing, Kinsy and I were hanging out with some friends in the pits. Monte rode up to us, via the hotpits, on his razor scooter. I did not recognize him at first, as I’d never actually met him in person. I immediately drew the conclusion that it was Monte, however, given his demeanor as he approached kinsy and I sitting on the hot pit wall.
I do not specifically recall what it is that he was saying, only that his eyes looked crazy. He, in one motion, rode up to us then leaned on Kinsy all while yammering on something negative about “Joe and 4theriders.”
As I sat there next to Kinsy—Monte leaning on her—I told him “you need to take a step back.” Kinsy was also shying away telling him to get off of her. I repeated myself, more sternly, saying “You need to take a step back.” He continued to lean on her, even harder, with her nearly off the wall entirely. It was then that I stood up and told him “You need to move the fuck back.”
He didn’t. I pushed him off of Kinsy. He stumbled backwards and tripped over his scooter. He immediately took his shirt off and started yelling at me and everyone else around. I sat back down on the wall, with my back mostly to him.
I watched from the corner of my eye as he was yelling and cussing and stomping around. He began to approach us again, and I remained seated until he was close enough that I considered him to be a threat. It was then when I set my expensive prescription glasses on the wall and stood back up to face him. I wasn’t sure how the situation was going to go, and I didn’t want to get punched while wearing glasses if it came down to that.
I quietly stood there as he got in my face. It wasn’t until he made physical contact with me that I reacted in any way. When he walked chest to chest into me, I shoved him backwards again.
He instantly popped back up to his feet and ran PASSED me to the wall and jumped atop it, all whilst yelling at everyone in the pits. He had his back to me. I imagined him stomping on my glasses and breaking them, as he was jumping around right next to them on the wall. I assumed the situation had already reached it’s peak and was now over, so I took a few steps to the wall to get my glasses, reached down to grab them, and was suddenly kicked in the face by Monte.
I reeled back a bit, as I didn’t even see it coming. He caught me squarely in the nose. Then I turned towards him, grabbed him by his legs, and threw him off the wall onto his back.
Max and at least 2 others were instantly involved, trying to hold Monte down, while yelling at him that it’s over, time to calm down, no fighting, etc. Monte was bicycle kicking at everything. I grabbed his ankles to keep him from kicking myself or anyone. I could hear his wife shrieking behind me. She even poured a beer on me. Then I heard Kinsy say “it’s over, just go sit down.” So I did.
And for that, I will not be at the next AFM round. Sorry everyone!