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Restaurant removes man after racist tirade against family

Restaurant removes man after racist tirade against family

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CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California restaurant server ordered a man to leave after he made racist comments and cursed at an Asian-American family that was celebrating a birthday.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday the Lucia Restaurant & Bar in Carmel Valley has received an outpouring of community support after the incident, which was captured on video.

The family was at the restaurant Saturday when a man at a nearby table started ranting, said Raymond Orosa, who was with the group. “Suddenly I hear this loud voice, you know like f'ing Asians,” Orosa told KGO-7.

The video, which went viral, shows the man cursing at the family and telling them to leave. The server intervenes and tells the man not to speak to the family like that, then orders him to leave and not come back.

Sean Damery, vice president of Bernardus Lodge & Spa, which includes the restaurant, apologized to the family and said he was proud of the staff. He said the man was escorted off the property without further incident.

Since then, the company has received letters and flowers from community members, said Koleen Hamblin, a spokeswoman for the resort, which is about a 120-mile (190 kilometer) drive south of San Francisco.

The television station identified the man as Michael Lofthouse, chief executive of tech company Solid8, and said Lofthouse issued a statement apologizing to the family.

“This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments,” the statement said. "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.”

Orosa said he doesn't find the statement to be sincere, but nevertheless, he forgives him.

“I can’t say what he did was acceptable or right, it isn’t, because a lot of people will probably disagree with me for saying I forgive him... but I do,” he said.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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