Target of Hate

(WSVN) - He was the only black man on a road crew of white and Hispanic men, and he says that his co-workers made him feel like a “Target of Hate.” Here’s the Nightteam’s Brandon Beyer with the story.

DBi Services maintains many of South Florida’s roads and highways. Dale Almandoz worked with a crew on I-75.

Micah Longo, attorney: “All Dale wanted was to work, earn a living, go home at night with his dignity. They didn’t allow him to do that.”

Attorney Micah Longo said last April, Almandoz was the only black worker on the white and Hispanic road crew, and he said they didn’t let him forget it.

Micah Longo: “His direct supervisor hung a noose, a double hangman’s noose, from the rearview mirror of the work truck. He then proceeded to ask my client which side of the noose he preferred around his neck.”

Almandoz took a picture of the noose and texted it to a manager, saying, “I didn’t find this funny in the slightest way… ”

Micah Longo: “The project manager says, ‘If it’s on his truck in a week, I’ll address it with him,’ and says, ‘I’ll take care of it, thank you.'”

Almandoz sent that text message to his boss on a Saturday. He said he thought the issue was going to be resolved, but when he got to work on Tuesday, DBi told him he was fired.

Micah Longo: “This is 2018, this shouldn’t be happening. There’s not another symbol that symbolizes hate, violence, terrorism against African Americans more than this noose.”

Almandoz filed discrimination charges with state agencies and a civil rights lawsuit, which says his co-workers also humiliated him with a racially derogatory comment about a “Men At Work” sign, which shows a silhouette in black with a shovel.

Almandoz said one of his coworkers also gave him a package of Gorilla Tape, ridiculing him and comparing him to an ape.

The case is now pending in Broward court, and that’s why he doesn’t want to go on camera.

Micah Longo: “Had DBi services done the right thing, stood up for our client, protected him, we wouldn’t be here today.”

7News Requested an interview with DBi, but their attorney sent a statement that reads, “Mr. Almandoz was terminated from his employment because of a report that he threatened violence against another DBi employee, as well as other documented conduct and performance issues,” and that the company believes the “lawsuit lacks any merit whatsoever.”

Micah Longo: “DBi Services is a public contractor. They have a $92 million contract with the State of Florida, Florida Department of Transportation, and they’re taking taxpayer money, and it’s a very important issue.”

A trial date for the case is set for next April. Then it will be up to a jury to determine whether or not Dale Almandoz was a target of hate.

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