Colorado Woman arrested for abusing two Mexican shoppers for speaking Spanish in a grocery store
The woman, Linda Dwire, was reportedly booked into Garfield County Jail and was charged with two counts of bias-motivated harassment
A 64-year-old white woman was arrested Monday night for harassing two Mexican shoppers for speaking Spanish inside a grocery store in Colorado. The woman was identified after footage of the exchange went viral on social media, according to reports.
The woman, Linda Dwire, was reportedly booked into Garfield County Jail and was charged with two counts of bias-motivated harassment shortly after the video was posted online, according to the Daily Mail. The video clip posted online showed Dwire lecturing the two Mexican women, Fabiola Velasquez and Isabel Marin, in the aisle of a City Market in Rifle, asking them to speak in English as they lived in the United States.
Reports stated Dwire continued harassing the two women until a passerby, Kamira Trent, saw what was happening and stepped in to defend the women. She told Dwire to stop and go away or she would call the police. Trent, in the video, can be heard saying: "You don't harass people. Get out of here! Now!" The video of Trent intervening and defending the Mexican woman has gone viral and had received over 800,000 views on Facebook as of Friday afternoon. Reports stated Dwire was released from jail, however, she is set to be back in court in November.
Watch: A white woman steps in and defends two Spanish speaking women who were being harassed by another shopper, in Colorado. The original video went viral online, and the harasser was arrested. pic.twitter.com/Cz6kkMoZc4— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 4, 2018
Velasquez, while talking to BuzzFeed News, said the entire confrontation began when she was talking to her friend in Spanish and Dwire interrupted them, telling them they needed to learn English because they were in America. "You're in America. You're in my country. You can't speak Spanish here. You need to speak English if you're going to be in America," Velasquez said referring to Dwire.
Reports stated Velasquez has been in the U.S. for eight years and was in the market with her son and two daughters when the incident unfolded. When Trent threatened to call the cops, Dwire told her, "You come from a generation that's destroying this country."
"No I do not. I have respect. You do not harass people," Trent said in response to Dwire's statement.
A woman was arrested after she was caught on video shouting at two Spanish-speaking shoppers in a Colorado grocery store https://t.co/h3kj5ZE9k4— New York Post (@nypost) October 4, 2018
Dwire then told her: "You will lose your country. You know what, you will lose this country." Trent then walked along with Dwire out of the store telling her "You do not harass Hispanic women!"
According to reports, when the cops asked Dwire about her take on the incident, she defended her right to freedom of speech. She reportedly told one of the officers that the women "didn't have the respect to speak English" and she was offended that they were speaking some other language inside the store. "It has nothing to do with race. It's a patriotic thing," she told Buzzfeed. "When people come to my country, they need to love it enough to speak English."