CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. (KGO) — A Southern California family is speaking out after a San Francisco tech CEO went on a racist rant that was captured on video this weekend while they were celebrating a birthday at a Carmel Valley restaurant.
The Orosa and Chan family say they will not let the experience ruin what has become an annual tradition celebrating Mari Orosa’s July 4 birthday in Carmel.
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Raymond Orosa and his family were having dinner at Carmel Valley restaurant Lucia. “We were there just celebrating, having fun,” said Orosa.
The fun quickly disappeared as the man at the table next to them began ranting. “Suddenly I hear this loud voice, you know like f’ing Asians,” said Orosa.
Raymond’s niece Jordan Chan, recorded what happened next on her cellphone.
“Say it again, now, you’re shy,” said Chan in the video.
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Michael Lofthouse gave the family the finger, then said, “Trump’s gonna f— you. You f—— need to leave. You f—— Asian piece of s—-.”
“He was full of hate and anger,” said Orosa. “It’s sad that there are still people that are like that in this world, let alone in this country,” he continued.
A Lucia employee quickly stepped in. “Get out, you are not allowed here. You do not talk to our guests like that. They are valued guests. Get out!”
“I admire her for that,” said Orosa.
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In an emailed statement, the vice president and general manager of Bernardus Lodge and Spa, Sean Damery, writes, “This is an extremely unfortunate situation, however we are proud of our staff at Lucia in keeping with Bernardus Lodge’s core values; this incident was handled swiftly and the diner was escorted off property without further escalation. We provide guests with a safe environment for lodging and dining, and extend our sincere apologies to the guests enjoying a birthday celebration on a holiday weekend.”
Michael Lofthouse also issued a statement, writing, “My behavior in the video is appalling. This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments. I would like to deeply apologize to the Chan family. I can only imagine the stress and pain they feel. I was taught to respect people of all races, and I will take the time to reflect on my actions and work to better understand the inequality that so many of those around me face every day.”
“He’s just saving face. I think he really meant what he said and what he did,” said Orosa.
“I don’t believe his words because his actions speak louder than the words he’s saying,” he continued.
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Orosa says those actions, in part, include additional Instagram comments that appear to have been posted by Lofthouse directed at one of the family’s supporters that include “Asian expletive” and “come near me or my people and you are expletive dead.”
Lofthouse did not respond to a request for an additional comment about the Instagram posts or his role as Solid8 CEO, a San Francisco-based tech company.
“I can’t say what he did was acceptable or right, it isn’t, because a lot of people will probably disagree with me for saying I forgive him… but I do,” said Orosa.
Orosa says he and his wife have been in America going on 26 years and they’ve never felt anything remotely close to racism until that night. He says he hopes it never happens to them or anyone else again.
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