Video: Man Launches Vile Verbal Assault At Muslim Teens In Chicagoland Restaurant
By Stephen Gossett in News on Jun 7, 2017 6:40PM
Video of a man verbally harassing a group of Muslim girls with racial slurs on Monday at a Chicago-area Mexican restaurant is sparking widespread, warranted outrage.
The group of friends was at Pepe's restaurant in Hickory Hills, in the southwestern suburbs, on Monday for a meal at the end of their Ramadan fast, according to a friend's Facebook posting and Yahoo, who first reported the story.
Sawin Osman, a 17-year-old Chicago native, was heading to the front to pay a bill with friends who, like Osman, was wearing a hijab headscarf at the time, when the man started his apparently unprompted tirade.
"We were walking past him on our way out of the restaurant. He yelled, ‘That girl could break a camel’s back,’” Osman told Yahoo. "We stopped and said, 'Excuse me, sir, what did you just say?'"
"Get goin'. Beat it. If you don't like this country, leave," the man is heard drawling in the video posted on Facebook.
"This is our home too," one of the girls, identified as Osman, replies pleadingly. She told Yahoo that all of group are from Chicago.
"I just said she was a big one. What's the problem?" the man says in the clip. Meanwhile, a woman sitting across from the man remains silent and unmoved. When the girls head toward the exit, the man is heard shouting, "F***ing goddamn, camel-jacking mother f***ing c**ts!"
One of the girls in the group, Nour Jaghama, 16, told CBS she worried for her safety, thinking "he might actually get physical. I might get hurt." Osman told Yahoo the harassment was evidence that anti-Muslim intolerance is a major issue in America today.
Ed Ptak, a corporate attorney for Pepe's, told Chicagoist that employees were not aware of the incident as it happened. He said that the president of the company has spoken with Osman's mother and the restaurant has also notified police of the incident. The man who launched the tirade is not allowed back in Pepe's restaurants, Ptak added.
Hickory Hills police told Chicagoist that a complaint has been filed but authorities did not know the whereabouts of the man. Police declined to comment when asked if the man's identity was known.
The video can be seen below. Warning, it contains awful, racist language.
Robert Ptak, President of Pepe's Incorporated, said in a statement:
"Pepe's Incorporated and our entire Franchise family offer our sincere apologies to the women who were harassed and insulted by another customer at one of our restaurants on Monday night. Pepe's condemns and rejects all discriminatory comments and actions directed to any of our customers and employees.
Pepe’s has always worked hard to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere at our restaurants for all of our customers and will continue to do so in the future. The customer who made the inflammatory comments to the women will not be allowed in our restaurants.
The safety, comfort, and welfare of all our patrons and employees is our utmost concern.
We are reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure that all our customers will continue to enjoy their dining experience at Pepe's."