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‘I pay for their welfare!’: NYC attorney scolds restaurant workers for speaking Spanish

NEW YORK — A racist tirade brought lunch time to a screeching halt inside a Fresh Kitchen on Madison Avenue in Midtown Tuesday.

The incident was captured on video and posted to Facebook.

Witnesses told PIX11 News that a man in a white button-down shirt complained to a manager about two employees taking lunch orders in Spanish.

When he heard the two workers speak Spanish to each other, witnesses said, he lost it.

“Every person I listened to, he’s spoke, he spoke, she’s speaking it. It’s America,” the man said, scolding the manager.

The man then accuses the Spanish speakers of being undocumented immigrants.

“And my guess is that they’re not documented so my next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country,” he said. “If they have the balls to come here and live off of my money – I pay for their welfare, I pay for their ability to be here.”

“It was crazy,” a worker who witnessed the altercation but did not want to be identified, told PIX11 News. “We just watched him scream, it was very fast. After he left, we just went back to work.”

The footage, taken by a customer who asked PIX11 not to identify her, has clocked in over a million views as of Wednesday afternoon.

The woman was ordering lunch at the restaurant when the chaotic scene unfolded. She said she was taken by surprise and couldn’t believe what she was witnessing. She called police about the apparent public disturbance but an officer was not dispatched because the man fled the scene.

She along with her friend could be heard challenging the man, calling him “ignorant.”

Despite the man's threat to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, officers were not called.

After the video went viral Wednesday, social activist Shaun King took to Twitter and asked his followers for help identify the man.

Hours later, after receiving several tips, King identified the man as Aaron M. Schlossberg, a New York business and commercial law attorney who practices in Midtown, about a block away from the restaurant.

King said seven of the man's former classmates contacted him.

PIX11 made several attempts to reach Schlossberg, but messages were not immediately returned. A woman who answered the phone hung up twice then transferred the call to voicemail on PIX11's third try.

A manager with Fresh Kitchen declined an interview with PIX11, saying that the incident was between customers and did not necessarily involve the establishment.

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) said in a tweet that his office plans to file a formal legal grievance against Schlossberg.