A man in Southern California flew into a rage after noticing that a menu item was described in both English and Spanish–at a Mexican restaurant.
According to local NBC affiliate WPTV, the incident occurred at Palapas Tacos in Anaheim. An older white male wearing a black Marines t-shirt can be seen accosting the cashier and cook–and eventually the eatery’s clientele who come to the employees’ defense.
The man was apparently upset that he was unable to understand one of the daily specials because the item description was partly in Spanish.
“It’s says it in Mexican,” the man shouts. “We’re not in Mexico. We’re in America. Not Spanish.”
The item in question was a fish platter. In actuality, the Spanish-language reference was solely contained on an outdoor banner that noted the special was only good for Friday, or especial de Viernes. Inside the restaurant, however, the menu was entirely rendered in English.
That didn’t seem to matter to the man and he took out his frustration on the people behind the counter.
And when customers showed up to defend the berated cook and cashier, they got an earful of venom, too.
“I’m an American!” he said. “I don’t do Spanish! I don’t do Spanish!”
Another customer interjects: “Go get a hamburger. Go get a hot dog.”
The cashier then pointed out the man’s mistake, which apparently made him angrier. He left the establishment after that, threatening to call immigration.
Juan Del Rio is the owner of Palapas Tacos. In comments to WPTV, he explained the toll that the shocking incident took on his employees.
“My cashier was really shaking when he left,” Del Rio noted. “She was, like, scared. She said that when he got in, he was in a bad mood. He was acting aggressive. He was not having a good day.”
Del Rio grabbed his cell phone and got a bit more out of the disgruntled man after he took refuge from the Spanish language in his car.
“Who are you gonna call?” the owner asks.
“Immigration!” the angry man says
“Why?” implores Del Rio.
“Because you’re not legal!” the man accuses.
“This is over a taco,” Del Rio deadpans in response.
“I honestly don’t know if he is racist, or if he just hates Mexicans or hates his life,” Del Rio added.
Ruben Velasquez is the cook who received part of the man’s verbal abuse. In Spanish, he defended his community against the attacks.
“One works honorably,” he said. “We don’t take the bread out of anyone’s mouths.”
[image via screengrab/WPTA]