Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with more context on Michael Lofthouse’s history of misdemeanor offenses. Lofthouse has since apologized following the incident at the restaurant.
A video of a man spewing racist remarks towards a family celebrating a birthday at a restaurant in Carmel Valley, California, has caused outrage online.
Jordan Chan, the woman who took the video, was out celebrating her aunt’s birthday on July 4 at Bernardus Lodge and Spa’s Lucia when she and her family encountered the man identified as Michael Lofthouse, according to KION.
In the video, Lofthouse can be seen giving the family the middle finger and telling them, “you f**kers need to leave” and “you f**king Asian piece of sh*t.”
He reportedly continued to yell other racist remarks that were not captured on video, including “F**k you Asians,” “Go back to whatever f**king Asian country you’re from” and “You don’t belong here,” Chan said in her Instagram post.
“We were singing happy birthday. We were just taking pictures and goofing around with each other and then all of a sudden the man, Michael Lofthouse, starts making really loud racist remarks at us,” Chan told the KION.
She started recording when the situation escalated. A waitress stepped in to confront the racist man and asked him to leave the restaurant.
“No, you do not talk to our guests like that. Get out of here,” the waitress can be heard telling Lofthouse, who was intoxicated.
Lofthouse tried to come back to the restaurant after he was kicked out, according to Chan.
“I’ve dealt with racism as well but never on that scale,” Chan told KION. “Never on that level to the point where somebody completely unprovoked felt obligated to voice out their hatred for absolutely no reason, just because they’re filled with that much hatred and because what, because we’re different skin color.”
Chan, who shared her story as a way to stop the ongoing racist assaults in the U.S., said no one should tolerate these kinds of remarks.
Lofthouse was identified by social media users after he left a comment on the video and deleted it.
Sean Damery, the vice president and general manager of Bernardus, applauded the swift action of the staff at the restaurant in his statement to KION.
“This is an extremely unfortunate situation, however we are proud of our staff at Lucia in keeping with Bernardus Lodge’s core values; this incident was handled swiftly and the diner was escorted off property without further escalation,” he said. “We provide guests with a safe environment for lodging and dining, and extend our sincere apologies to the guests enjoying a birthday celebration on a holiday weekend.”
The waitress who stepped in is reportedly receiving donations online but chose to donate the money she received to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
In a Napa County court case in 2016, a “Lofthouse, Michael Edward” is listed as facing misdemeanor charges of domestic battery and vandalism. He pleaded no contest on vandalism, while the other charges dismissed.
Lofthouse has since apologized following the incident:
“My behavior in the video is appalling. This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments. I would like to deeply apologize to the Chan family. I can only imagine the stress and pain they feel. I was taught to respect people of all races, and I will take the time to reflect on my actions and work to better understand the inequality that so many of those around me face every day.”
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