EUSTIS, Fla. - An argument between two customers and a manager of a Florida Burger King that allegedly started when the manager spoke Spanish to another employee was caught on video and has gone viral on social media.
The video was shot Saturday by Neyzha Borrero, who was eating at the Eustis restaurant with her boyfriend when she heard the argument, the Miami Herald reported. Borrero recorded the incident on her cellphone and later posted the video to Facebook.
As of Thursday afternoon, the video had more than 70,000 views.
In the video, an older woman wearing a blue blouse can be heard telling the manager, “This is America. Our main language is English. ... Speak your Mexican at home.”
“Freedom of speech, ma’am. ... Guess what, ma’am, I’m not Mexican. You’re being very prejudiced and I want you out of my restaurant right now,” the manager replies.
The second woman, wearing a pink blouse, says, “This isn’t your restaurant. It is not.”
The manager threatens to call the police.
The three continue to exchange words until the women get up and leave.
The women haven't been identified.
The argument began after the women overheard Castillo speaking to another employee in Spanish, according to the Herald.
“When I heard ‘You cannot speak Spanish in public,’ I grabbed my phone and I was like, ‘Hold up,'" Borrero told NBC News.
“I was very surprised (at Castillo's) reaction,” Borrero, who is also Puerto Rican, told the Daily Commercial. “I think even though he was being verbally attacked and discriminated, he handled (it) very, very well. He never used profanity to them. He never insulted them, he just asked them to leave and never come back to his restaurant.
Castillo said being bilingual helps him at work, and that customers have praised restaurant staff for their Spanish-speaking abilities. He told the Daily Commercial he doesn't regret his reaction.
“I was not disrespectful at any time, but I did tell them they had to leave the restaurant,” he said. “The only couple that was sitting down in the lobby was a Puerto Rican female and a Mexican guy. They told me after, ‘We felt offended.’ The best thing to do was to get the people out of the restaurant.”
Burger King spokeswoman Dori Alvarez told NBC News in a statement, “There is no place for discrimination in our restaurants. We expect employees and guests to treat each other with respect.”
The police were not called. However, Castillo said that if the women return, they will be issued a trespassing order.