A 55-year-old Philadelphia woman is being charged with ethnic intimidation and harassment — a hate crime under Pennsylvania law — after an unhinged, racist rant in a pizza shop brought on by Spanish language programming on the shop’s television. The original TikTok of her bizarre rant, which took place on February 23, has been removed but lives on via repost:
@alexnuusila @kellyflores765 #stopthehate ♬ original sound – alexnuusila
In the video you see Rita Bellew, from Hatboro, PA, getting hostile with Omar Quiñones (spelled Quiñonez in another report), owner of Amy’s Family Pizzeria. Shop employees started filming after she got angry so from the jump she’s pissed off and demanding a refund. She later takes out her phone and begins filming the employees, suggesting that she is simply asking for a refund and being bullied because she is white.
Some notable quotes from the video:
- I will look you the fuck up and get you the fuck out of our town. I’m not giving my money to some illegal immigrant.
- Fuck you, give me my money back.
- You’re in America. You’re supposed to learn English.
- Believe me, I will check it. I’m a CPA, a certified public accountant — you probably don’t even know what that means, do you?
- What’s wrong with that is that you’re not American, dude.
- You got Spanish on your TV. That’s a fuck you to Americans, dude.
- You’re an ignoramus.
- You’re young and you’re fucking stupid.
- I’m an American. You’re a victim.
- I’m gonna film you right now. And I got 4,000 followers.
- I’m at Amy’s and I’m being bullied.
- And because I am white, they are videotaping me because I am white. See that? They’re calling me a racist because I am white.
- I am not Mrs. Blue Hair. I am not racist.
- I want a refund on my credit card and therefore I am racist.
- They are calling me racist because I am white and none of them are white.
Note: we did not get a hit for “Rita Bellew” on CPAVerify nor did we find her on the Pennsylvania Licensing System Verification service. In fact, no one with the last name Bellew is licensed as a CPA in the state of Pennsylvania and none of the twelve people named Rita licensed as CPAs in the state live in Hatboro as far as we can tell. If anyone has info about her work history get in touch, we’ll do some more digging in the meantime.
Bellew later told The Philadelphia Inquirer that she was having a difficult week. Her father has been in and out of the hospital and she is going through breast cancer treatment, she said. “I’m profoundly sorry,” she said. “I don’t want to make excuses.”
According to The Inquirer, internet vigilantes trying to track down Bellew before authorities announced her name and charges found instead three other blonde accountants working for accounting firms in the Philly suburbs and unleashed a campaign of harassment and doxing on the women.
“We can unequivocally report that those incorrectly identified on previous third party social media platforms, including but not limited to, [women’s names redacted] and their associated business have absolutely nothing to do with this incident,” read a statement from Hatboro police. “We strongly suggest people cease and desist the attachment of false or mistaken names and identities to this video as the identity of the individual(s) involved are known to police.”
Hatboro Police Chief James Gardener initially did not think the rant was a hate crime, suggesting instead that it was “a dispute between a customer and a business where a bunch of hateful, vitriolic comments were made.” Given what happened with the three blonde accountants, he did not want to name Bellew. “With the amount of angry people that are out there — which is understandable — I have concerns for everyone’s safety in this, including hers,” he said.
Since the incident went viral, people all over the world have shown support for the owners. “We’ve had phone calls from Germany, England, Poland, and Spain, all South America. It has been really, really nice,” Quiñonez told WHYY.
Woman whose racist pizza shop rant went viral says she is ‘profoundly sorry’ after charges are announced [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Amy’s Pizzeria in Hatboro overwhelmed with local, global support after viral video of racist attack [WHYY]