HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man claiming to be a solar panel salesman who was meeting with neighbors called one homeowner the N-word, instead, in a video that's gone viral online. The incident happened on Saturday in Houston's Acres Homes neighborhood.
ABC13 blurred the face of the man who used the slur because he is not facing charges. A Harris County investigator said what he did was ignorant and racist, but not illegal.
A doorbell camera captured a man who described himself as a neighbor and solar panel salesman making an introduction.
"We do solar around here, and we're just coming around talking to n*****s. Sorry, dude. Neighbors. I apologize," he said.
"In order for me to not feel the way I wanted to feel and do the things I wanted to do, I just had to separate myself and walk away from that situation, because that's my house," Michael, the homeowner who asked that just his first name be used, said.
Michael said he's watched the recording several times and even questioned if the slur slipped out.
"But no," he said. "You can't mistake that word. That's not a word you mistakenly say, unless you have been saying that for a very long time."
Aside from the question of intention, Michael said he wondered why the man said his name was Fernando, he lived a few doors down, and worked for Pink Energy.
Pink Energy sent ABC13 a statement:
"Pink Energy does not comment on the activities of other companies' employees. The shirt he is wearing is not a Pink Energy shirt and appears to have another company name on it. The individual in the video does not and has never worked for Pink Energy."
County records also do not show the man as a homeowner on Michael's street.
"I didn't know if it was a prank. I didn't know if it was something that someone was targeting... it was surreal," Michael said.
The experience brought unexpected distress to the door of the one place Michael said he thought he and his family would not experience racism.
"It really was like, you can't dodge it. It's something that's around you, in front of you, and it'll come to your doorstep even if you don't want it to be there," he said.