The Edmonds Diversity Commission has issued a statement regarding a recent harassment incident an Edmonds McDonald’s restaurant, when a woman allegedly engaged in a tirade against members of a Hispanic family who were speaking Spanish at their table.
Calling the incident “hurtful,” the commission encouraged Edmonds residents “to engage in reflection and/or dialogue with friends, family and neighbors about the incident, its potential causes and ramifications.”
The harassment, highlighted on KIRO-TV news Monday night, was reported Tuesday to the Edmonds City Council and Mayor Dave Earling by City Economic Development Director Patrick Doherty, who serves as the Diversity Commission staff liaison. During the incident, which occurred Friday, May 4 at the Edmonds McDonald’s in the 21400 block of Highway 99, the woman reportedly said “get out of our country…if you don’t speak English, you shouldn’t be here,” Doherty said. She then went on to open the door of an unlocked car in the parking lot — thinking it belonged to the family — and spat in it.
According to Edmonds police spokesman Josh McClure, police responded to a 911 call about the incident at 12:44 p.m. Friday. “A witness saw the suspect drive away in a vehicle and gave dispatch the license plate,” McClure said. “Officers responding to the call found the suspect vehicle and stopped it.”
The suspect, age 59 and from Edmonds, was arrested and booked into Snohomish County Jail on a charge of malicious harassment.
Here’s the full Diversity Commission statement:
The Edmonds Diversity Commission wishes to express its deep concern over the recent unfortunate incident involving the harassment of a Hispanic-American family at the Highway 99 McDonald’s in Edmonds last Friday, May 4th. In response to this incident, and other past incidents of a similar nature, the Edmonds Diversity Commission encourages Edmonds residents to engage in reflection and/or dialogue with friends, family and neighbors about the incident, its potential causes and ramifications. As for the Commission, our mission and work plan are dedicated to exploring and addressing the environment and conditions in Edmonds that may lead to incidents of discrimination and/or exclusion. Consequently, the Commission also invites the public to attend any of its meetings on the first Wednesdays of every month to share thoughts and comments on this incident or related issues. By coming together, we can make hurtful incidents such as this serve as a source of strength and cohesion in our community.