A 28-year-old medical student was harassed by a man who accused him of looking "suspicious" because he was texting while waiting for friends at an Upper West Side movie theater. "You know what happened in Paris," the man intoned, by way of explanation.

Christian Alexander Pean explains in a Facebook post that he was at the AMC theater at 84th and Broadway on Sunday afternoon, where he had plans to see The Martian with his friends. He was killing time in the lobby by futzing around on his phone when he was approached by another patron, a middle-aged man, who said to him, "You know what happened in Paris. Guys like you texting and standing...that's suspicious."

"He had an accent. It sounded French, so at first I thought he wanted to talk about what had just happened in Paris," Pean told the Village Voice. But then, Pean says he began threatening him, and allegedly tried to grab and open Pean's jacket. Here's video, which Pean posted to Facebook:

I went to watch "The Martian" yesterday. I was standing in the lobby waiting for a friend who had the tickets and was...

Posted by Christian Alexander Pean on Monday, November 16, 2015

Pean, who is from Texas and is of Haitian and Mexican descent, initially attempted to dispel the man's belief that he was a Muslim, but thought better of it, pulling out his camera and videotaping the encounter instead. "If I were a law-abiding citizen of Muslim faith standing there texting, I’d have every right to [do so] in a public space," he says. "It struck a chord with me and made me realize so many innocent people get targeted like this every day. How dare he make assumptions about me?" This is Pean's full description of the encounter:

I was standing in the lobby waiting for a friend who had the tickets and was running late. I was there maybe 5 minutes, standing, texting my friends, and looking up reviews for the movie (everyone loves Matt Damon in space). Then this guy came up to me. He was maybe two feet away from my face and asked assertively, "What are you doing here?" I replied, "I'm going to watch the Martian. I'm waiting for my friend. She has the tickets." I thought maybe he worked there, or was just striking up a conversation. Then he goes on and gets louder, "Is that really what you're doing? Stop standing there and texting. You know what happened in Paris. Guys like you texting and standing...that's suspicious."

I was paralyzed by shock and disbelief at first. I looked around and saw multiple people standing around texting. "Everyone is texting man, it's what people do when they're waiting. Why don't you leave me alone". He gets more aggressive, "I have my daughter here, how about you get off your phone and stop texting?!". He takes a step closer, "Take off your jacket. Open it up and show me what's inside." And he starts to try and REACH in my jacket. I back up and tell him "Do not do that. Get away from me." He kept yelling at me and motioning for me to take my jacket off. I continued,"No. Leave me alone. That's what the terrorists want. They want you to be afraid and do this to me. Don't profile me and think you're a hero. I'm a medical student. I'm an American just like you!"

Then he walks away but keeps staring at me and yelling, "Stop texting!" And that's when I recorded this short video and my friend showed up. She was scared and wanted to leave the theatre. There was no way I was going to stop living MY life to coddle this guy's paranoid mind. We bought popcorn and watched the movie (pretty good movie). Ironic, that we watched The Martian, because when this was going on I was the one who felt like he was on another planet.

We're all scared because of what happened in Paris and Beirut. I understand that. I'm scared too. But now, in addition to being scared of actual terror threats, I also have to be scared of "vigilantes" like this because of the way I look? If he thought he was reasonable in accusing me of being some threat to national security while standing there texting, would he have thought it reasonable to physically assault me? If concealed carry was legal in New York, and this was a "responsible gun owner" who wanted to "protect his family", would he have felt justified in shooting me there in the theatre for not opening up my jacket quickly enough and putting down my phone? All these thoughts went through my mind while this guy stood there berating me. These are the "good guys"? With friends like these...

To the guy who wouldn't stop badgering me in the lobby of the movie theatre for texting while being Black and wearing a jacket for 5 minutes: You are setting a terrible example for your daughter, and you are NOT a patriot. You are not a brave man; you are a coward for giving into fear and targeting an innocent person in a public space trying to live their life the same as you. You dishonor the victims of Paris and Beirut with your actions. I was just trying to find a sliver of escapism and peace in an otherwise daunting world the same as you. Thanks for ruining that for me. You are a paranoid bully. Your bravado, bluster, and prejudice are reflective of so many things wrong with this world. I'm ashamed that you're one of my countrymen, but more than anything I feel sorry for you. I pray you learn to live your life without such unwarranted fear and hate in your heart. I hope that you don't teach your daughter the ugliness you showed yesterday in that AMC theatre lobby. Next time, I hope you pause, and use some common sense instead of frightening everyone, including your daughter and me, so that you can feel "safe".

In the wake of Friday's massacre in Paris, Muslim communities have been facing threats of violence and harassment—there have been protests outside of mosques, a mosque in Ontario was set on fire, and voicemails left at a mosque in Florida threatened to "firebomb" the community and "shoot whoever is there in the head."