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Attorney Issues Apology Week After Video Of Him In Racist Rant In Midtown Restaurant Goes Viral

May 22, 2018 - 6:22 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The Manhattan attorney caught on video going off on workers for speaking Spanish to customers in a Midtown restaurant has issued an apology.

Attorney Aaron Schlossberg tweeted an apology Tuesday, a week after being caught on cell phone video that went viral threatening to call federal immigration officials on the workers.

“To the people I insulted, I apologize. Seeing myself online opened my eyes – the manner in which I expressed myself is unacceptable and not the person I am. I see my words and actions hurt people, and for that I am deeply sorry. While people should be able to express themselves freely, they should do so calmly and respectfully,” Schlossberg wrote.

Schlossberg’s statement continued: “What the video did not convey is the real me. I am not racist. One of the reasons I moved to New York is precisely because of the remarkable diversity offered in this wonderful city. I love this country and this city, in part because of immigrants and the diversity of cultures immigrants bring to this country. Again, my sincerest apologies to anyone and everyone I hurt. Thank you.”

Edward Suazo, who posted the clip of Schlossberg on his Facebook page, said his wife and her best friend had stopped in for lunch and were speaking in Spanish with one of the employees as they were ordering their food.

That apparently set off the tirade.

"Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English," Schlossberg is seen telling a manager. "Every person I listen to, he spoke it, he spoke it, she's speaking it. It's America. Your staff should be speaking English."

Schlossberg then threatens to contact officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"I will be following up and my guess is they're not documented so my next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country," Schlossberg says. "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. You understand? If you intend on running a place in Midtown Manhattan your staff should be speaking English, not Spanish."

When a woman off camera tells him "because of people like you our nation is messed up," Schlossberg waves his phone at her and tells her he's "calling ICE" before adding, "Maybe you shouldn't eat that sandwich today. Take a break from the food."

The woman replies, "Maybe you should get hit by a car" as the man storms out.

The video drew swift and widespread consternation. Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a tweet saying New Yorkers speak more than 200 different languages and are all welcome.

New York City's diversity is our strength. It's what makes this city great. The 8.6 million people who call this city home speak more than 200 languages – they’re all New Yorkers and they’re all welcome here.

Also on Twitter, former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said "this bigot must be exposed."

Through action, policy/legislative change we strive to make #NYC a hate free zone, a welcoming & inclusive city, a sanctuary city. We are far from perfect but our diversity always been our strength. Acts of hate must be strongly repudiated. That's why this bigot must be exposed. https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/996725747711541249 

Meanwhile, the landlord who provided space for Schlossberg’s law practice kicked him out of the building.

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. also filed a grievance against Schlossberg with the court system.

In a letter, Espaillat and Diaz wrote, “The audacity to profile and verbally assault innocent bystanders and customers in a public commercial location is a violation of our civil society. We watched Aaron’s video and we were disgusted.”

Columnist and Activist Shaun King also posted a video that appears to show Schlossberg in another altercation with a stranger who he called an ugly f***ing foreigner.