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Video of man saying racist remarks against Asian family sparks public outrage

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Twitter: @JohnRizkallah

CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. (KION)

A video of a man heard saying racist remarks against an Asian family at a Carmel Valley restaurant is sparking public outrage.

Model Chrissy Tiegan is now showing support for the server who stuck up for the family, tweeting: “If anyone knows who the server is, I'd love to give her a much earned tip…”

The viral video posted on social media shows the diner cursing at the family and asking them to leave at the Bernardus Lodge and Spa’s Lucia restaurant.

Jordan Chan, who took the video, tells me this all happened as her family was celebrating her aunt’s birthday on 4th of July.

“We were singing happy birthday. We were just taking pictures and goofing around with each other and then all of a sudden the man, Michael Lofthouse, starts making really loud racist remarks at us,” Chan said.

Chan said she’s sharing her story to stop the cycle of racism. She says no one should tolerate the racist remarks her family encountered.

On Tuesday, the Monterey County Sheriff's Office tells KION they were investigating the incident after being contacted by the family involved. The family was considering a request for a restraining order. However, the sheriff's office says they the family reached back out and are not requesting prosecution or further action.

WARNING: Video below contains profanity:

As the situation escalated, that’s when she started recording. Shortly after, a waitress stepped in, asking the man to leave.

“No, you do not talk to our guests like that. Get out of here,” the waitress could be heard saying in the video.

“Even after he got kicked out, he tried to come back because he was inebriated. It was very clear that alcohol was involved,” Chan said.

She told KION the comments were unwarranted and unprovoked.

“I’ve dealt with racism as well but never on that scale. Never on that level to the point where somebody completely unprovoked felt obligated to voice out their hatred for absolutely no reason, just because they’re filled with that much hatred and because what, because we’re different skin color.”

Some social media users say the man in the video is Michael Lofthouse, the founder of a San Francisco IT company, who appears to have commented on the video before it was removed.

In a statement to KION News, Vice President and GM of Bernardus Sean Damery said:

“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.”

In addition to support Chan is receiving on social media, we're learning people are showing support for the waitress  in the video. We're told she’s receiving donations online for how she handled the situation and plans to donate them to the ACLU.

We reached out to Lofthouse but he has not responded to our request for comment. 

A Santa Cruz home address for Lofthouse has been circulating, however the residents in that home say Lofthouse does not live there. They ask that their privacy is respected.

Monterey / Monterey County / Top Stories

Elisha Machado

Elisha Machado is a weekend anchor and multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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