Skip to main content

Woman who berated pizzeria owner for playing Spanish-language TV show facing ethnic harassment charges


Rita Bellew (via YouTube screengrab of TikTok video)

A Pennsylvania woman whose anti-immigrant rant at a pizzeria went viral is now facing ethnic harassment charges after haranguing the restaurant owner for playing a Spanish-language TV show.

Rita Bellew’s confrontation with Omar Quiñonez, one of the owners of Amy’s Family Pizzeria in Hatboro, was recorded by an employee.

“You want to have Spanish on your TV?” Bellew, who is white, is heard asking Quiñonez, after saying that her family has been in Hatboro for some 200 years.

“What’s wrong with that?” Quiñonez asks.

“You’re not American, dude!” Bellew responds, before issuing an apparent threat: “I will look you the f— up and get you the f— out of our town.”

“I’m not giving my money to some illegal immigrant,” she says after demanding a refund.

Bellew tells Quiñonez that having a Spanish-language program on TV is “a f— you to Americans.” She says that her father is a World War II veteran and implies that Quiñonez’s television choice is an affront to veterans’ service and sacrifice.

She then demands her money back and tells Quiñonez that he is an “ignoramus.”

Bellew also confronts the employee who is recording the incident, saying that the employee is a “victim.”

“You’re the racist,” Bellew insists before taking out her phone to record the employees, noting that she has “4,000 followers.”

“This is our first Karen,” some employees could be heard saying excitedly, invoking the name that has become synonymous with racial harassment.

“I’m at Amy’s and I am being bullied,” Bellew says to her phone. “They are videotaping me because I am white. See that? They’re calling me a racist because I am white.”

“No no,” a voice is heard saying. “We’re calling you a racist because you’re racist.”

The situation continues to escalate, with Bellew continuing to demand a refund and insisting that she is the target of discrimination.

“You call me racist because I am white,” she says. “Why? I’m waiting.”

The video ends seconds after a police officer enters the restaurant.

“Hi,” Bellew says to him shortly before the recording stops. “I know you.”

Now, Bellew is facing criminal charges.

“Rita Bellew, 55, of Hatboro PA has been charged via summons with Ethnic Intimidation and Harassment following a disturbance that occurred on February 23, 2023 at Amy’s Family Pizzeria in the 300 block of South York Road in Hatboro,” the Hatboro Police Department and Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

The announcement says that police were dispatched to Amy’s Family Pizzeria on Friday, Feb. 23, shortly before 6:00 p.m. on a disturbance report.

“Police de-escalated the disturbance involving Bellew and learned that an employee video recorded Bellew prior to police arriving,” the announcement says. “The video shows Bellew berating the staff of the restaurant with a profane, racially fueled tirade. Bellew was apparently triggered, at least in part, by a Spanish broadcast being shown on television in the restaurant.”

According to court records, Bellew has been charged with harassment, classified as a summary offense — a relatively minor infraction under Pennsylvania law. The ethnic intimidation charge is a third degree misdemeanor, exposing Bellew to a maximum fine up of to $3,000 and six months behind bars.

Bellew has since told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she is “profoundly sorry” about the tirade.

Bellew told the newspaper that she was a “conservative, but not necessarily a Trump supporter,” and that she has connections to immigrants including grandparents from Ireland and a best friend from Puerto Rico, notably a commonwealth and part of the U.S. She also said that she is being treated for breast cancer and that her father had spent the week in and out of the hospital, the Inquirer report said.

The restaurant, meanwhile, has received an outpouring of support, according to a local Patch report.

The original TikTok post has been taken down, but the video lives on in Reddit threads.

Bellew has a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 5, according to court records.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: