A Texas lady who was captured on camera last week cursing four Indian women has been accused of committing a hate crime.
“This incident is a hate crime in accordance with Texas laws,” said police in Plano, Texas, where the incident occurred.
“This incident may also be a hate crime based on federal law, and we are working closely with the FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division on this case.”
The video shows the woman, identified as Esmeralda Upton, making racist remarks to four women of Indian descent in a parking lot.
“Go back to India, we don’t want you here … I hate you [expletive] Indians,” she says in the video.
When asked by the women why she thinks they are not American, Ms Upton replied: “Because of the way you speak.”
Ms. Upton also seems to be hitting the women in the video.
Ms. Upton was detained by police last week on suspicion of assault and making a terrorist threat.
One of the women, Rani Banerjee, claimed that she and three of her friends were challenged in the parking lot after finishing their meal at a restaurant.
“Suddenly, we heard this woman yelling at us and started coming towards us. We were shocked by the racial slurs that she used and combative attitude,” Ms Banerjee told an ABC News affiliate. Ms Banerjee started recording the incident with her phone.
“What was so very scary is she came very close and not only verbally assaulted us but started physically assaulting us. She started hitting me.”
According to Ayush Saha, a victim’s son, Ms. Upton threatened to take a pistol out of her purse.
“From what I know, it’s a lady who has a lot of malice inside of her and she needed to ruin someone else’s day,” he told a local NBC outlet.
The bail amount for Ms. Upton is $10,000.
Reuters was unable to quickly reach Ms. Upton’s spokesperson for comment.
Reuters provided content for this article.