Alex Castro, is currently Vice President Of Product Management At Electronic Arts, and a fairly-well-known and legendary tech executive, regularly quoted in a number of industry publications.
But Alex Castro’s also an Oakland resident who has the terrible habit of going online, making traceble email accounts from his Electronic Arts office, and posing as someone else, with names like “Fake Joe,” or “Fake Joe Tuman,” and “Fake Kristin,” obviously mocking Tuman’s wife Kirsten Weisser.
But where Castro really tripped up was in posing as “Crocker Mom” in his comment on my first blog post on the matter of the Joe Tuman Dog Accident.
But why is Alex Castro taking this rather, uh, gauche route of expression?
Well, Alex is concerned about speeding drivers running stop signs in his Crocker Highlands neighborhood, and rightly so, but, and according to a number of observers, Castro has went a little too overboard in attacking fellow resident Joe Tuman, who happens to be running for Mayor of Oakland.
On December 15th of 2013, as Tuman explained in a statement “An off leash dog ran out in front of my car on a street near my house. I was driving within the speed limit, and the dog was struck by my car. I immediately pulled over and offered what assistance I could. I am saddened by this loss, and have extended my sympathies to the dog’s owner.”
The dog’s owner is Chris Fenolio, not Alex Castro.
But what happened was Castro was fed erroneous information regarding the aftermath of the accident, and took to a message board to bring up the incident, pointing to Tuman. There, he got into a heated exchange with Tuman’s wife Kirsten Weisser, who saw his comments and responded (and I should add that Alex used his real name in this case).
Joe Tuman, who had met with Chris Fenolio and his dad at the time of the accident and worked to help recover the dog, who was hit by Joe’s car as the canine wandered out to the street near the intersection of Longridge and Rosemount.
Chris, Ron, and Joe all worked to move the car that Chris’ dog wound up under out of the way, and then work to determine how best to care for his pet. Sadly, they deemed the dog was dead. This is far different than what was said to have been a “hit and run” – it wasn’t that at all and Chris’ folks mis-reported the incident as that because there was no other more appropriate multiple choice option on the Oakland Police website area where one can file a police report.
In all, it was a tearfully sad matter than brought two good people together, Chris Fenolio and Joe Tuman.
Alex Castro’s the person cast as the real villain in this episode, but as I write this, I see Alex’ position in all of this, even as I disagree with his tactics.
Alex is trying to help mobilize the community to action to get drivers to stop going fast. Joe Tuman says he wasn’t driving at anything beyond the posted speed limit. But what I’m blogging about is largely in the past, save for Castro’s actions in posing, on my blog site, as “Fake Joe Tuman” and “Crocker Mom.”
Alex should just bow out at this point, because he’s not solving the problem. Their are two people in this who should really come together: Chris and Joe. Indeed, they’re already together in ways they do not know. Joe is as broken up about the matter as Chris is, and its clear they have not met to work out a resolution for Chris’ grieving. He lost a member of the family and is seeking appropriate closure. In running for Mayor, Joe Tuman can help Chris find it.
Alex Castro getting involved and being nasty to other Oaklanders, and this blogger, is not making anything better at all. Too many wrong-headed comments are being made, and everyone’s pointing at Alex as the cause of them. Castro’s clumsy attempts to hide his identity are thwarted by the use of Electronic Arts’ wifi network. So when he poses as the stay-at-home “Crocker Mom”, one look at his IP address reveals that he’s doing it from the comfort of his Electronic Arts Redwood City, CA, office.
Alex has a good job at Electronic Arts, and a great legacy in the tech community. I’m sure he has a lot on his plate, at least to the point where he doesn’t have to take work time making fake email accounts and social media accounts to hurt the feelings of others.