A Philadelphia woman who was filmed going on racist rant against a Pizzeria owner because she was annoyed with Spanish-language TV being played at the establishment has been charged with a hate crime.
Rita Bellew, 55, was charged with misdemeanor counts of ethnic intimidation and harassment, which is Pennsylvania's hate crime statute, and harassment Friday days after the video went viral, according to the Hatboro Police Department.
Officers responded to the restaurant after the reported disturbance around 6 p.m. on Feb. 23 and said they de-escalated the situation.
The video, which was taken down by the original user but has since been posted widely across social media, shows Bellew, who is white, berating Omar Quiñonez, one of the owners of Amy's Family Pizzeria, in Hatboro, for playing a Spanish-language TV show in his restaurant.
'You're in America. You're Supposed to Learn English'
In the video, Quiñonez asks Bellew what's wrong with him playing Spanish-language TV in his own restaurant, and Bellew replies that he's "not American" and accuses him of being undocumented. "I will look you the fuck up and get you the fuck out of our town," Bellew says in the video. "I'm not giving my money to some illegal immigrant."
Bellew continues by telling the owner, "You're in America. You're supposed to learn English." She then demands a refund, her food, and a credit after insulting him. "Believe me, I will check it. I'm a CPA, a certified public accountant — you probably don't even know what that means, do you?" Bellew says.
Bellew Tried to Play the Victim After Realizing She's Being Recorded
Bellew also confronts the person recording her meltdown after being accused of racism. Bellew calls the person recording racist and claims she is being bullied for being white. "They're videotaping me because I'm white, see them? They're calling me racist because I'm white," Bellew says. "I'm not racist."
She was also heard saying, "I've been here over 100 years. You're racist, honey, very racist. I would like a refund." Watch the video below:
According to a criminal complaint obtained by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bellew is banned from the restaurant, and upon learning that, she shrugged and told a police officer, "I'm white, I'm white, I'm racist."
Bellew Says She Was 'Profoundly Sorry'
Since the incident, Bellew has told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she was preparing to accept the charges and she was "profoundly sorry" and didn't want to "make excuses." Bellew told the outlet that she was having a tough week after she was being treated for breast cancer, and her father was in and out of the hospital.
Bellew also told the Inquirer that she's not a racist, calling herself a "conservative, but not necessarily a Trump supporter," adding that her connections to immigrants include grandparents who were from Ireland and her best friend, who is Puerto Rican. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 5, according to court records.