National News

Attorney in rant that went viral says he's not a racist and offers an apology

Posted May 22, 2018 12:50 p.m. EDT

— One week after he screamed at people speaking Spanish in a New York City cafe -- a rant captured on video that quickly went viral -- attorney Aaron Schlossberg says he's not a racist and is "deeply sorry" for his actions. "To the people I insulted, I apologize," he said Tuesday in a message on Twitter and LinkedIn.

On May 15, a video posted on social media showed Schlossberg at a Fresh Kitchen in Manhattan, angrily telling employees and customers who were speaking Spanish to speak English because "This is America!"

"If they have the balls to come here and live off my money, I pay for their welfare," he says, incorrectly asserting that undocumented immigrants are eligible for federal public benefits. "I pay for their ability to be here. The least they can do ... is speak English."

He continues to express his displeasure to an employee and threatens to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

"My guess is they're not documented. So my next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country," he says.

Congressman Adriano Espaillat told CNN that he and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. filed a formal complaint against Schlossberg with the NY State Unified Court System, seeking to have his law license suspended until he "amends his actions."

Thursday, Corporate Suites, the company that operates the business center where Schlossberg's law office is located, said it was terminating its agreement with him.

"We found Mr. Schlossberg's statements offensive and contrary to our community norms," Corporate Suites President Hayim Alan Grant said in a statement. Grant said Schlossberg did not have full-time office space with Corporate Suites, but the company provided mail and phone services for his business and Schlossberg had access to the center to meet with clients.