Battle with NB white supremacist continues Former JC Councilman Vasquez, controversial host Hal Turner get into physical altercation
by Jim Hague
May 02, 2006 | 1394 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former Jersey City Councilman Jaime Vasquez claims that he had no malicious intent last week when he began parading in front of the North Bergen home of controversial radio talk show host Hal Turner carrying a sign that called Turner a bigot and a racist.

Vasquez, 56, was reacting to a local newspaper article that quoted Turner after the immigration rally that was held in Liberty State Park last week.

"I was not looking for a confrontation with Hal Turner," said Vasquez, who is currently the director of veterans' affairs in Jersey City. "I just wanted to put my words and feelings on the record. Here's a man that was spewing hate."

Turner was quoted on April 11 as saying, "If [illegal aliens] are not going to obey the law, people like me aren't going to play by the law and I am going to start shooting them down." (Turner has since denied saying the quote, while the Jersey Journal newspaper has stood by its account.)

"Once I read that, it just invited me to go there," said Vasquez, who had never met Turner and didn't know what he looked like. "He had to know that he couldn't get away with threatening to shoot people."

Vasquez said that he found Turner's address by searching voter registration records. Then he marched in front of Turner's home, carrying a sign that read, "Hal Turner, shoot me. Racists and bigots like you are cowards," for about 90 minutes while wearing his United States Marines uniform, having served with the Marines in the Vietnam War. He earned a Purple Heart.

Turner, 42, said that Vasquez earned his ire after fighting with Turner's wife outside the home.

Confrontation

Turner, who resumed hosting his Internet and shortwave radio talk show after being off the air for about a year, said his wife spotted Vasquez outside their home around 3 p.m. last Thursday afternoon.

"He confronted my wife and she didn't deserve that," said Turner, who ran for U.S. Congress in 2000 as a Republican. "When my wife saw him, she asked him to leave and he replied, 'Who the [expletive] are you?' She said that she was the owner of the property and said he didn't belong there. He said that he was a Vietnam veteran and had the right to be wherever he wanted to be."

Vasquez responded last week, "I didn't know who she was and I didn't know she was his wife. She just said that she owned the building and I didn't belong there. But I said she didn't own the sidewalk, and I stayed there."

Hal Turner said that he then went downstairs to confront the protester, not knowing his identity.

"I never even heard of him or met him in my life," Turner said. "But when I got downstairs, he said, 'I've been waiting for you.' He walked up to me and I took his picture. I pointed at him and told him that he had to leave. But then he came up to my nose and shoved me, so I shoved him back."

Vasquez contradicted Turner's version of the story. "He's a pathological liar on top of being a racist," Vasquez said. "I'm part of the peace movement. I'm not going to start anything. I've been part of the peace movement since 1969. I spent my time in Vietnam. I had my fill of fighting. It wouldn't make sense for me to attack a guy 14 years younger and twice my weight."

Who started it?

According to Vasquez, Turner instigated the incident and told Vasquez, "Either you go now or you leave in an ambulance."

"He then stepped on my foot and pushed me down," Vasquez said.

Vasquez said the fall caused him to suffer a hairline fracture of the right wrist, as well as back injuries. In fact, he did leave the scene in an ambulance.

The North Bergen First Aid Squad took Vasquez to Christ Hospital in Jersey City, where he was treated and released.

Turner said he had to protect himself when Vasquez allegedly pushed him.

"He's much smaller than me, but once he pushed me, I went to protect myself," Turner said. "When a man in a military uniform comes at you, I take that as a threat, regardless of size or age. He then said he was calling the police and calling the newspapers. When the police arrived, he said that he wanted to have me arrested. But the police were understandable, trying to tell him, 'You came to his house. He didn't come to yours.'"

Turner said that if Vasquez wanted to make a protest against him, he should have filed for a protest permit with the North Bergen Police Department before hand.

"People are allowed to protest in North Bergen when they get a permit to protest from the police department," Turner said. "There have been other protests in front of my home, but those people filed for permits. But no one told the police of any activity. They didn't know anything about it. You can't protest without a permit."

North Bergen Police Chief William Galvin said that there was no such request to protest from Vasquez.

"We didn't know anything about it until after the incident took place," Galvin said. "We would never take a chance that something might happen if we knew something was going to happen there. We've had police squads in place for other protests at [Turner's] residence."

I told them

Vasquez said he did, in fact, inform the police.

"It means that the North Bergen Police Department is incompetent in keeping records," Vasquez said. "I went to the police department before I went there. They should go back to boot camp."

Vasquez filed a criminal complaint against Turner at North Bergen police headquarters. In return, Turner filed a complaint against Vasquez for assault and conducting the protest without a permit.

The case will be heard in North Bergen Municipal Court on May 1.

Turner has not been charged with a crime.

Vasquez said that he plains to file a civil suit against Turner as well for "the pain and damage he caused me," Vasquez said.

Vasquez also said that he plans future protests in front of Turner's home.

"I think it will be more difficult for him to call 20 Purple Heart recipients as illegal aliens," Vasquez said. "This is not over yet. I know a little bit about World War II history and this man is a Nazi."

Turner said that he has sent a letter to Jersey City Corporation Counsel William Matsikoudis, requesting information as to whether Vasquez was protesting while on the City of Jersey City time clock.

"Why was he at my home during work hours?" Turner said. "The bottom line is that people cannot parade in front of my home in a protest without a permit. Mr. Vasquez did everything wrong."

Turner made one last comment.

"The sad thing is that we are probably on the same side of the fence when it comes to war," Turner said. "Well, at least, this war."

White Power rally coming up

Meanwhile, Turner apparently has other events to prepare for. On the left side of his website is an announcement for a May event at which he is a featured speaker: "Annual White Power rally and music festival held at the Imperial Klans of America Headquarters in Dawson Springs, Kentucky. This is a weekend event for White Patriots in which there is camping, vendors, speakers, and bands, as well as a cross and swastika lighting. Comrades from all over the white world have travelled to this and other festivals held by the IKA and Blood and Honour U.S.A. If you wish to build White Unity in a positive way and network with those of like mind, you don't want to miss this event!!"
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