Alberta resident Monir Omerzai posted a video of the heated exchange on Facebook Tuesday saying “every culture and every human being should be respected.“It does not matter what colour you are (or) where you came from,” he wrote. The woman in the video has been identified as Kelly Pocha of Cranbrook, B.C. On Wednesday afternoon, Pocha’s employer — Cranbrook Dodge — posted on its Facebook page the “employee in question has been terminated.”
LETHBRIDGE – A Lethbridge man, a Syrian immigrant who was the target of a woman's racist tirade at a local Denny's restaurant says he's never experienced anything like it in the 13 years he's lived in the southern Alberta city.
Monir Omerzai posted a video of the heated exchange on Facebook Tuesday saying “every culture and every human being should be respected.
“It does not matter what colour you are (or) where you came from,” he wrote.
The video shows a woman turning toward a group in the next booth and unleashing a profanity-laden rant, telling them to go back to where they came from and saying they don't pay taxes.
“Go back to your f—ing country,” she is heard saying. “We don't need you here.”
The people at the table try to interject.
“We're all the same,” says a man's voice off-camera. “You're a human being. I'm a human being. There's nothing special about you.”
As the exchange escalates, the woman gets up to kneel on her seat overlooking the group's booth.
“You're not dealing with one of your Syrian bitches right now,” she says. “You're dealing with a Canadian woman and I'm not going to be talked down to by you.”
At one point, she appears to lunge at the table as a man beside her holds her back.
By Wednesday afternoon, it had been viewed more than 260,000 times and shared nearly 6,000, with several commenters expressing anger, embarrassment and dismay.
The woman in the video has been identified as Kelly Pocha of Cranbrook, B.C.
Pocha, who told Lethbridge News Now that while she’s sorry for what she said, she was “totally provoked.”
“It’s gotten way out of hand. People aren’t seeing the whole story,” she said.
According to Pocha, who said she had a few drinks before the tirade unfolded, she and her husband went to the restaurant to eat.
“It started with a look,” she said. “I turned around and I looked at the one gentleman and he was staring at me and I said, ‘Is there a problem?’ And he said, ‘No, no problem.'”
Pocha said she turned around again and he was still looking at her. She said she then turned around a third time and the men were speaking in a language she couldn’t understand and she believed they were laughing at her.
“They did say a few things to me in English that weren’t very nice and then I got extremely heated and then that’s basically when they hit record.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Pocha’s employer — Cranbrook Dodge — posted on its Facebook page the “employee in question has been terminated.”
“We have recently become aware of a disturbing video that involves one of our employees,” dealership owner Dave Girling said in the post. “We are deeply concerned about the content of this video and want all of our friends, families, colleagues, and customers to know that this behaviour does not reflect the values of Cranbrook Dodge in any way.
Omerzai told CTV News that police said there was nothing they could do and that the restaurant asked them to leave.
“The food just arrived, it was fresh and then we looked at the restaurant owner and then they told us we have to pack our food and leave now,” he said. “We were not intoxicated, we were not anything. We were just normal people going out there, being hungry.”
The Denny's restaurant and the chain's corporate office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.