Mother without mask who hurled racist insults at worker won't apologize
NEW YORK - The woman captured on video not wearing a mask inside a Lower East Side bagel shop and hurling racist slurs at a worker behind the counter said she won't apologize.
Stephanie Denaro told FOX 5 NY she isn't a racist.
"It's not my concern what other people think. I'm not apologizing to a mob," said Denaro.
The now-viral video shows the mother and her four children inside Essex Market on Sunday morning when she becomes belligerent after the worker tells her she needs to put on a mask before ordering. She refuses and then calls the employee a racist slur and yells at other workers and customers.
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FOX 5 NY caught up with Denaro Wednesday at her apartment in the Lower East Side. Standing in the doorway as she held her youngest child, Denaro insisted she was not a racist because her children are biracial.
"I don't see why I would be attracted to a black man if I was a racist," said Denaro.
On Wednesday, the store employee, who identified himself only as Vic, told FOX 5 News that he was trying to defuse the situation and that he was about to offer the woman a mask when she lashed out.
"I felt the damage and I felt bad. I felt disappointed that she said that to me — as a Black man," said Vic. "She was very defensive and angry. She replied with anger and with hate."
RELATED: Video: Woman hurls racial slurs at bagel shop worker
The woman defended herself on what appears to be one of several Instagram accounts linked to her saying that not giving her the bagel was an infringement of her rights. She also insisted that one word in a verbal fight is not the end of the world. She posted religious passages and said she can't be racist because her children are biracial.
"I called him a phrase for his behavior. For how he was acting," said Denaro.
She said the real problem is rules about wearing masks.
"I'm not going to do that," she said.
A spokesperson for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the market, said "hate has no place" in the city or in the properties it manages.
"The customer who perpetrated this incident was repeatedly asked to leave the facility and did so as we were notifying the NYPD," spokesperson Chris Singleton said in an email to FOX 5 NY. "We have reached out to the impacted vendor and security team to offer our support and commitment to ensuring a safe environment at the Market."