A woman from Plano, Texas, has been arrested and charged after she went viral for hurling racial slurs at four Indian American women.
The Plano Texas Police Department identified the woman in the viral video as Esmeralda Upton. She was arrested on Thursday at around 3:50 p.m. and is facing misdemeanor charges of assault causing bodily injury and terroristic threats, police said in a press release. She is currently held on a $10,000 bond.
The incident occurred on Wednesday after Rani Banerjee went out for dinner at Sixty Vines in Plano with three of her friends. Upton, whom Banerjee described in her Facebook post as “angry” and “drunk,” approached the group while they were heading back to their cars.
At the start of the video shared by Banerjee, Upton can be heard saying “We don’t want you here” to the women. Upton eventually charges at the woman filming the incident and begins assaulting her.
One of Banarjee’s friends can be seen reporting the incident to the authorities and calling Upton a white woman.
“No, I’m not white,” Upton can be heard proclaiming. “I’m Mexican, and I paid my f*cking way here,” she adds before hitting Banarjee’s friend.
When asked why she walked up to the group, Upton says, “Because I hate you f*cking Indians, that’s why.” She later proclaims, “I’m a Mexican American. I was born here.”
“Everywhere I f*cking go you Indians are f*cking everywhere,” Upton continues. “Please, I’m trying to be civil here. If life is so great in India, why the f*ck are y’all here?”
At around 8:15 p.m., authorities responded to the call.
Speaking to WFAA, Banerjee said she was surprised by what happened.
“Suddenly, we heard this woman yelling at us and started coming toward us. We were shocked by the racial slurs that she used and combative attitude,” Banerjee was quoted as saying.
“What was so very scary is she came very close and not only verbally assaulted us but started physically assaulting us. She started hitting me,” Banerjee added.
Her video of the incident went viral on Facebook, receiving over 140,000 views and more than 2,300 comments as of this writing.
Following the incident, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) condemned the racial attack and urged the police to investigate the case as a hate crime.
“The level of vitriol and alleged physical assault against four Indian-American women in Plano is truly appalling,” Faizan Syed, executive director of CAIR-DFW, said in a statement. “This type of hate has no place in North Texas, and we call on law enforcement to investigate this incident as a hate crime.”
Nahela Morales, a Mexican American activist and board member of CAIR-DFW, said she was appalled by Upton’s use of their heritage to spread hate.
“As people of color, we need to stand together in solidarity to build bridges of love and understanding, not to bring each other down,” Morales said in the statement. “To the women in the video, I want to say you don’t speak for our community or me; shame on you. I encourage you to learn about the shared culture between South Asians and Mexicans.”
The Plano Police Department’s Crime Against Persons Unit is currently investigating the case as a hate crime.