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Mesa homeowner caught on camera accosting hiker on Hawes Loop Trail

Posted at 5:44 PM, Aug 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 10:09:41-04

Elaine Norton was warned by other hikers about Bill Jaffa, who's building a sprawling home in the Las Sendas community of Mesa.

Fellow hikers told Norton not to be surprised if Jaffa accosts her while she walks by his house. That's why she had her phone ready to record when it happened.

In the video, you see Jaffa talking to dispatch and hear him arguing with Norton.

"We've got the woman trespassing on the property. Can you please send police over," you hear Jaffa ask.

Norton recorded the video on July 14 after hiking Hawes Loop Trail. It has been viewed more than 70,000 times on YouTube. She said she's concerned he'll confront the wrong person, or he could get physical himself.

"I called the city and said someone is going to get hurt," Norton said.

A similar video was posted on Monday, reportedly shot earlier this year. It includes Jaffa's wife Joanne. 

"Does it matter to you that you're on our property," you see and hear Joanne Jaffa asking before Bill Jaffa accuses the bicyclist of assaulting her.

The video does not show the bicyclist assaulting the woman. Instead, you see her getting into the driver's seat of a vehicle.

Jaffa, a former Mesa councilman, is currently a partner at an accounting firm. Websites and a Facebook page show his wife is the head of a music foundation. 

We contacted Bill and Joanne Jaffa about the two videos. In an emailed statement, Jaffa apologized to Norton and mentions a battle with the city and how stressful the home-building process has been. You can read the statement in its entirety at the bottom of the page.

The apology is too little too late for Norton. She's pursuing a harassment charge and has talked to police about whether this rises to the level of making false reports.

Mesa spokesperson Steven Wright said they rerouted the trail last month to get it farther away from Jaffa's property and a steep drop off. Wright said the new part of the trail was never on Jaffa's property and the city plans to put up a fence to clearly mark the boundary line.