Security camera footage of the incident.
An unknown woman was recorded on security camera making racist and insulting comments to a Latina employee at the Arcata Shell station on G Street late last month.
Gas station employee and recent HSU grad Jassel Aguirre told the Outpost that the woman went on a tirade on May 31 around 10:30 a.m. after Aguirre repeatedly asked her to cover her face while she was in the store to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“She entered the store and I told her she needed to have a mask or face covering to enter as it is policy,” Aguirre said. “She had a scarf and made a makeshift type mask. She asked to use the restroom, and even though she was not a customer, I allowed it. Exiting the restroom, while still in the store, I again asked if she could please make sure her face was covered while inside because she was no longer doing so, and this was the result.”
The woman responded by refusing to cover her face and that’s where the security camera footage sent to the Outpost picks up.
“Do you know what freedom is?” the woman is heard asking the cashier in the video. “Are you from America? Are you an American or are you an illegal immigrant? Because you look like one. You also look like a Nazi too.”
Aguirre said that no one from the business was familiar with the woman, who has since been banned from the store, but said that she seemed to be a “normal” person until she was asked to put on her mask for the second time.
“While it was happening, I was just shocked that she was saying these hurtful things and when she went on talking about looking like an illegal immigrant, I was at a loss for words because that hit so close to home,” Aguirre said. “The whole thing was just infuriating, that this is just one person, like so many others who say and do much worse because they feel they have that right. I was angry after the fact that I didn’t say or do more, but I also didn’t want to risk losing my job.”
After making racists comments, the woman continued to berate Aguirre with seemingly political, anti-face-mask rhetoric, causing Aguirre to laugh in disbelief.
“You’re trying to enforce supreme order over people and their natural rights to be free, Hitler,” she said to the cashier. “You’re nervous because you have no brains and don’t know what to say. That’s your defense mechanism is to laugh. You’re a fool. You’re fat and ugly and have a lame-ass job. Fuck you.”
These types of shocking and racist interactions have made national headlines in recent years as video and audio recording technology has become more readily available.
Aguirre said she has not filed a police report as a result of the incident.