By Jenny Yuen , Toronto Sun
First posted: Friday, January 29, 2016 04:51 PM EST | Updated: Friday, January 29, 2016 08:05 PM EST
TORONTO - “Go back to Mexico.”
That was the message a Toronto couple say they heard from an angry customer before he started pretending he was firing a gun at their restaurant.
Since arriving in Canada 12 years ago from Mexico City, Edgardo Torres and his wife Minerva Carmona have never experienced such an aggressive outburst of racism like they did Thursday at Aztec’s Mine — the family restaurant they run on Bloor St. W., near High Park.
The man, described as in his 50s wearing jeans and a dark coat, came in around 2:20 p.m., ordered four tacos and two beers and finished his meal about an hour later, according to the couple. He politely chatted about the weather with Torres. But when Torres presented him with a $24 bill, he said the customer flew off the handle, eventually making rifle gestures with his hands towards the couple.
“He called my wife a b----, told us to go back to Mexico and that ‘Mexicans, we have to kill them all,’” said the 46-year-old restaurateur. “He started swearing and swearing. And then he pulled his finger from his pocket and pointed it like a gun. So I jumped over the counter and took him out.”
Security video footage shows Torres shoving the man out the door. The first-time customer — who had paid his bill with a debit card before allegedly erupting in to anger — remained outside the restaurant for about five minutes.
In the video, he can occasionally be seen making rifle gestures towards the building.
“He was walking around the restaurant, screaming to the people that we need to go back and that we’re taking Canadian jobs,” he said. “He was telling people passing by that he was going to shoot us.”
Carmona, 46, said she tried to remain calm when the man swore at her.
“He called me many names,” she said. “I don’t know if he was drunk or sick, who knows. But sometimes, incidents happen even if they’re (mentally-ill). I’m worried for my husband because he tried to defend me.”
Torres immediately called the non-emergency police number to make a report and was informed that “they can do nothing about it because the guy had already left.”
“They told me that if he comes back, to call 911,” he said. “What happens when he comes back with a real gun? The response from the police, I’m very disappointed in. I feel unsafe. Do I have to wait until we get shot before they take it seriously?”
The couple opened Aztec’s Mine about a year ago, hoping to make a better life in Canada.
Toronto Police Const. Craig Brister said such calls are taken seriously and suggested there could have been some miscommunication between Torres and the emergency call-taker.
“I find that hard to believe because anything like that, they would have at least sent a car to investigate,” he said. “That’s not something we would just brush off. We’ve gone out to calls for far less. He’s definitely made a threat. For it to be a threat, all you need is a belief that person is capable of carrying out that threat.”
Brister said the couple should call police again and ask them to come and file a report.
Couple rattled by racist restaurant customer | Toronto & GTA | News | Toronto Su