'My next call is to ICE': Rant against Midtown restaurant workers speaking Spanish goes viral

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ByJoe Torres via WABC logo
Thursday, May 17, 2018
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A customer at a Fresh Kitchen in Manhattan was caught on camera expressing his displeasure over workers speaking Spanish inside the establishment

MIDTOWN EAST, Manhattan -- A male customer at a Fresh Kitchen in Manhattan was caught on camera delivering a racially-charged tirade over workers speaking Spanish inside the establishment.

"The clients of your staff are speaking Spanish to customers, when they should be speaking English," the angry customer said. "If they have the balls to come here and live off of my money, I pay for their welfare, I pay for their ability to be here. The least they could do is speak English."

The customer pointed at all the employees he heard speaking Spanish, repeatedly saying "It's America."

Our sister station Eyewitness News in New York spoke to the 35-year-old customer who captured the rant on her cellphone. She speaks Spanish and works as an office manager, but she did not want to be identified.

She said the angry customer lost it after the person ahead of him started ordering in Spanish.

"I just looked at him and said, 'You're very ignorant,'" she said. "He said, 'I'm highly educated and I doubt you are, and you need to go back to your country.' I said, 'Funny, I am in my country. I was born and raised here in New York.'"

The angry customer then questioned the legality of the employees.

"My guess is they're not documented, so my next call is to ICE to have each one kicked out of my country," he said.

The woman our sister station spoke to said she felt compelled to defend the workers.

"I put my camera down and said, 'You wanna call ICE, call ICE. I'm gonna call the police because now I feel threatened,'" she said. "At that moment, he threw his sandwich. He threw his soda."

The man then walked out.

"At first it was, wow, you're bullying someone that you feel superior to for no reason," the woman said. "After, I kind of got flustered, but I also kind of feel bad for him because it shows that his mental stability isn't all there. He was completely off hinge."

Mayor Bill de Blasio also tweeted his thoughts on the incident.