March 04, 2023
A woman who was recorded berating employees at a Montgomery County pizza shop during a racist rant has been charged with ethnic intimidation and harassment, Hatboro police announced.
Rita Bellew, 55, of Hatboro, was charged Friday for her tirade on February 23 at Amy's Pizzeria.
A video posted initially on TikTok shows Bellew triggered by a television commercial in Spanish before she begins to harass the owner Omar Quiñones. She says she has been in Hatboro for 55 years, and her family has lived in the county for 200 years.
After Quiñones asks what is wrong with Spanish on TV, she responds, "You're not American, dude. I will look you the [expletive] up and get you the [expletive] out of our town."
Once Bellew realized an employee was recording her, she pulled her phone out and started trying to record from her point of view, "I would like a refund, I am at Amy's, and I am being bullied, and because I am white they are videotaping me," she said as she walks back and forth with her phone in her hand.
Eventually, the police arrived to remove Bellew from the restaurant. However, officer Brett Paul alleged that Bellew did not care when she was told she was banned from the pizzeria. "I'm white, I'm white, I'm racist, I'm too damn white," she said, according to Paul, the Inquirer reported.
Following the announcement of her charges, Bellew said she wanted to apologize but was told that was not a good idea, WHYY reported. "I deserve to be in trouble for this. What I did was very wrong, and I don't want people to think that it's okay," she said.
Bellew is required to formally respond to the charges, according to the press release from the Hatboro police. A preliminary hearing will be scheduled at a date to be determined; Assistant District Attorney Tanner Beck is prosecuting the case.
Ethnic intimidation, commonly considered a hate crime, is a third-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania.