Ann Arbor mechanic accused of racism, homophobia, apologizes
The foul-mouthed mechanic featured on FOX 2 several times this year is having a change of heart. He called us again saying he wanted to go on camera and apologize to everyone he's offended.
FOX 2's Erika Erickson was there when he stood arm in arm with a friend who says he is really not a bad guy.
FOX 2: "What do you want to say to people?"
"I want to apologize to the entire community and I don't want to be reduced to such type of thinking ever again," said Whitney Passino.
Known as a bigot, racist, sexist and also called a liar and a thief - Ann Arbor mechanic Whitney Passino admitted to all he's done Thursday.
"I'm regretful, I'm apologetic and I'm sorry for anyone who I've hurt or offended," he said.
Dozens of complaints coming from the gay community and the African-American community after Passino is accused of using homophobic slurs and calling black people "primates."
His former auto shop landlord called him dangerous, accusing Passino of ripping people off and even filing a lawsuit against him.
FOX2: "What do you say to her?"
"I'm sorry for hurting her company," Passino said. "I do believe her reputation got damaged."
FOX 2 confronted Passino twice, with Passino using the name Jim Small, claiming his Yelp account had been hacked.
FOX 2: "Did you lie to me?"
Passino: "Yeah. I'm sorry."
But Passino's Ann Arbor roommate Loretta Cannon says she is a proud, gay, black woman and was shocked to learn of her friend's behavior.
"Being who I am, representing the communities I do represent, to stand by someone after they've said stuff like this - it challenges me as an individual, as a person," Cannon said.
Cannon says when she confronted Passino he admitted to being embarrassed and ashamed.
"He has to address it," she said. "You just can't let it fester because people are angry, people are hurt. And somebody could get hurt."
FOX 2: "Do you feel like an apology at this point is good enough?"
"It's sincere I can tell you that," Passino said. "And if there's more I can do to help people, I'm willing to do that also."
Passino says he's hoping to move forward and learn from this.
FOX 2: "We're going to hold you to that."
Passino: "I hope so - it's worth it to me to be a good person."
But whether his apologies are accepted, remains to be seen.
"If I can try to forgive him and find it in my heart to forgive him," Cannon said. "I would ask the community to do the same."