terrell owens (emotional)

*It looks like the tables might be turning in the aftermath of former NFL receiver Terrell Owens‘ recent parking-lot dust up with a crazed heckler. The incident was recorded by a witness and has since gone viral, sparking the ire of many viewers.

In the footage, a shouting match erupts between Owens and a man named Arman, reported TMZ originally. The back-and-forth began inside of a Starbucks in Brentwood, California, and spilled out into the parking lot.

As tension escalated, the angry heckler began hurling racial insults at Owens, calling him a “f***ing knuckle-running, spear-chucking, monkey-ass looking motherf*****” — among other things.

Owens, clearly annoyed by these remarks, responded by launching a coffee cup at his antagonist. This led to more jibber-jabbering from both men, but fortunately blows weren’t thrown.

In the video, it seems as if the suspect’s intention was to bait Owens into reacting with violence. Had this occurred, a civil suit would’ve surely followed. T.O. wisely walked away, a decision that has earned the praise and admiration of many viewers.

In addition, Owens will likely be safe from criminal charges thanks to the video showing a heinous racist tirade … and ultimately it may lead to a hate crime charge.

T.O. told TMZ Sports he’s been blown away by the public’s reaction to the footage. The language makes it seem like the attack was racially motivated. Translation: hate crime.

Arman denies throwing liquid into Owens’ car, and maintains the whole incident started when Owens tripped him inside the Starbucks.

Police initially investigated the incident as a battery against Arman, but with one phone call to cops … T.O. could flip the script.

T.O. explains what happened to TMZ:

Watch T.O and “Arman” get into it: