Disturbing footage posted on social media shows two men hurling racial slurs and insults at an Asian-American restaurant owner in South Florida.
Louis Grayson, whose family is from Thailand, owns Ramen Lab Eatery at 25 Northeast Second Avenue in Delray Beach. He recorded the incident outside his restaurant on July 15 at 11:45 p.m.
According to Grayson, the restaurant was closing for the night when the men approached the eatery's outdoor dining area. Grayson said they used two of Ramen Lab's chairs and a table to eat pizza they purchased at a different restaurant.
Grayson said a waitress asked the men to leave the area. They refused, and a heated confrontation between Grayson and the men ensued.
"Take your [expletive] China flu and shove it up your [expletive]," one of the men tells Grayson in the video. "You [expletive] Taiwanese [expletive]."
Another man can be seen taunting the restaurant owner, repeatedly calling him a "communist."
Grayson posted the video on Instagram where it has amassed several comments of people expressing support for the restaurant.
"We have zero tolerance for violence. We are a honest hard working business. We stand against any type of racism, harassments and discrimination. We pride ourselves in having a multicultural environment," the Instagram caption read. "Unfortunately, this situation was very heart breaking and will not break our spirits. We will not accept this type of behavior and attack on anyone and especially to our staff."
Delray Beach Police released a statement about the incident, saying no charges were filed and there is no active investigation in the case.
The department also referred to the event as a "mutual disagreement" because a piece of pizza was apparently knocked out of one of the suspect's hands.
"No charges were filed in this case. An officer responded and met with the complainant and two men. The complainant states the males made negative comments and gestures. But the complainant knocked a slice of pizza out of one of the suspects hand, making the situation a mutual disagreement between parties," the statement said.
Grayson said the restaurant has experienced other moments of racial tension and discriminatory remarks, especially at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the July 15 incident felt more aggressive.
"We respect and love everyone however this is hard to grasp," the statement continued. "We will not stand for it EVER and we hope justice will be served to these individuals."
A recent study for the Pew Research Center states that 32% of Asian-American adults fear threats and physical attacks. 81% say violence against the Asian-American community is increasing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.