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‘Pizza Karen’ charged after going on anti-Mexican rant while picking up a pizza

@manic_hispanic Will Amy’s #pizza in #pennsilvania be out of business? #tiktok do your thing! The end is funny #pizzakaren all because the tv was on a #spanish #channel #thecaucasity #amysfamilypizzeria ♬ original sound – Manic Hispanic

Jonathan Bergmueller

Police are charging a Montgomery County woman with ethnic intimidation and harassment after a video went viral online showing her berating a Latino-owned pizzeria.

Rita Bellew, 55, of Hatboro, is accused of yelling at the staff of Amy’s Pizzeria Feb. 23 after hearing a Spanish-language program playing on a TV, according to WHYY News.

A video that documented the verbal outburst shows Bellew, a white woman with blonde hair, saying “What’s wrong with that is you’re not American, dude,” to Omar Quinonez, the owner of the restaurant.

Bellew then demanded a refund for her food, and told Quinonez she will “get” him out of Hatboro, WHYY News said.

Hatboro Police Chief James Gardener told The Philadelphia Inquirer he initially didn’t consider Bellew’s outburst a hate crime, chalking it up to “a dispute between a customer and a business where a bunch of hateful, vitriolic comments were made.”

But “When we viewed the video, it was really over the top. It was a racially-fueled, profane rant directed at their heritage and it’s not going to be tolerated,” Gardner told WHYY News.

After Bellew was charged, she said she was “horrified” and “ashamed” by her behavior, according to WHYY News.

“I’m profoundly sorry,” Bellew told The Inquirer. “I don’t want to make excuses.”

Despite the incident, Quinonez said the outpouring of international support has been immense.

“I was angry but I just didn’t want to be like them. I wasn’t expecting that. All my customers are really nice people. I’ve never seen that before – 10 years and that was the first time,” Quinonez told 6ABC.

©2023 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit pennlive.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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