White Man Who Yelled "Trump," David Sanguesa, Stands by Racial Discrimination Claims

Around 4:30 p.m. yesterday, Miami real-estate remodeler David Sanguesa claims, a Miami Starbucks employee said she would not serve him coffee. The reason: He voted for Donald Trump.

That, he tells New Times, is what prompted him to explode on-camera, call the black employee "garbage" and "trash," and scream "I voted for Trump! Trump! You lost, now give me my money back," at the employee. (Sanguesa then threatened to fight a patron who stood up for the Starbucks employee.)

He says he wasn't motivated by racism. "I was wrong for getting upset," he explains, "but I'm not going to respond anymore. This is out of control. I'm being harassed by people all over the country."

Sanguesa works as a custom home builder and remodeler in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale metro area, according to his LinkedIn page. He's originally from Texas. Miami-Dade County court filings show that in 2014, Sanguesa was charged with one count of misdemeanor battery and one felony count of tampering with a witness, victim, or informant. The State Attorney's Office declined to take action on either charge. The case is now closed.

In 2013, a woman brought a paternity lawsuit against him. The case remains open. At least three women have sued Sanguesa for either domestic or repeat violence in Miami-Dade County court. Restraining orders were issued in all three cases, though one case was eventually dismissed.

Sanguesa abruptly hung up on New Times before we were able to ask about his past. Today, he told Local 10 news that he has mental illness and was off his medication during the war-of-words, but Sanguesa did not mention that at all when speaking with New Times.

The Miami Herald reported today that Sanguesa has been sending that newspaper racist, sexist letters for years:

Over the years he’s sent several reporters at the Herald angry emails often directed at President Obama, women and Cuban Americans.

In one email sent this month he said Obama has caused 95 million people to lose their jobs by “pushing a sick, left wing agenda of not working... living off the government... trying to get rid of Jesus Christ, abortion, homosexuality, lesbians, transgender... Hollywood trash.. we are Miami destroyed... by people who hate the USA.”

Four days earlier he had sent an email about the coverage of the death of former Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez in a boating accident. “I hate Cubans.... all pieces of s—-... including Jose Fernandez.”

But yesterday, Sanguesa claims, he was both discriminated against because he's an ardent Trump supporter — "We're there [at the Starbucks] every weekend," he says, adding that "we worked for the Trump campaign" — and that he was also discriminated against because he's a white person.

"I was racially discriminated against," Sanguesa says. "This is bullshit. I’m a business owner. I didn’t deserve this. That woman refused to serve us coffee."

Since Trump's election nine days ago, multiple hate-crime observers, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, say attacks against poeple of color — and Muslims especially — are on the rise.

Yesterday the eyewitness who filmed the ordeal, Jorge de Cárdenas, said Sanguesa simply got upset that his coffee order was taking too long. After he began screaming that he was a victim of "anti-white discrimination," Cárdenas says one patron called him an "asshole." He says Sanguesa responded with: "Fuck you, bitch."

"That's when I started filming," Cárdenas told New Times yesterday.

In the clip, Sanguesa called the black employee "trash," demanded his money back, and shouted, "I voted for Trump! Trump!" at the woman. He also asked for her information so he could report her to Starbucks management.

One patron then stood up for the employees, demanding that Sanguesa "not talk to other people that way."

After a tense war of words, Sanguesa then threatened to "punch out" the good samaritan.

But Sanguesa says the video clip chops off the "first 20 minutes" of the encounter. He claims the video does not show the Starbucks employee refusing him service. (In the clip, Sanguesa demands his money back, which raises questions about why an employee would take his money and then subsequently refuse him service.)

"She refused to serve us coffee because we voted for Donald Trump," Sanguesa says.

Sanguesa says he's considering suing Starbucks for racial discrimination.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.