WARNING: Video above contains graphic language and content
A woman who was caught on video at an Alberta restaurant telling a group of men they're "not Canadian" and that they should "go back to their f**king country" has been fired from her job.
The incident shown in the clip, which has been circulating on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube on Tuesday, occurred last month at a Denny's in Lethbridge, Alta.
The five-minute, profanity-laden video shows a woman sitting in a booth in front of a group of men telling one of them to "shut his f**king mouth" because he was dealing with a "Canadian woman."
She then says she will leap across the table to punch him in his "f**king mouth."
"Go back to your f**king country," she says, after accusing him of being an "ignorant prick."
Monir Omerzai told CTV News that he and three friends simply wanted to enjoy a meal when they went to Denny's last month. Omerzai, who grew up in Afghanistan and has lived in Lethbridge since he was a teen, said the run-in began after the woman accused them of staring at her.
After the woman's tirade, the food arrived for Omerzai's table — but he said their group was asked to leave the restaurant.
The grace of those two people enduring a savage racist attack in a Lethbridge Denny's, calmly responding: "We are all Canadians". 😢
— Mike Gibbs 🏳️🌈 (@Mikeggibbs) May 9, 2018
Lethbridge News Now reached Kelly Pocha, who lives in Cranbrook, B.C. and confirmed she is the woman in the video.
The mother of three told the outlet that she believed the men, who were "talking in their own language," were "making fun of her." She said people did not see the entire exchange, and that she was "put down as well."
She later released a statement saying that while her actions were inappropriate, they did not reflect her as a person.
"I would like to formally apologize to these men, as I did to the staff and management at Denny's in Lethbridge two weeks ago for my actions. I am human, I make mistakes."
In one part of video, Pocha tells the group that she was born and raised in Canada.
One of the men facing her then says "It doesn't matter, we're all Canadian."
"No, you are not Canadian," she replies, and asks him if he "pays taxes."
"F**king of course I pay taxes," he shoots back.
If I could take it back, I would. But I can't.Kelly Pocha
Pocha did admit that her comments were racist and added, "If I could take it back, I would. But I can't."
On Wednesday, the Cranbrook Dodge dealership where Pocha worked announced she had been terminated. In a statement posted to its Facebook page, owner Dave Girling wrote:
"We have recently become aware of a disturbing video that involves one of our employees. We are deeply concerned about the content of this video and want all of our friends, families, colleagues, and customers to know that this behaviour does not reflect the values of Cranbrook Dodge in any way. We strive to be a welcoming and inclusive company with no room for hate or intolerance.
The employee in question has been terminated and we deeply apologize for her actions."
Read Pocha's interview with the Lethbridge News Now.
Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman told HuffPost Canada he was "ashamed" that the incident unfolded there.
"I'm embarrassed for Canadians as well as for my city, that it occurred here," Spearman said, adding that his city is a modern, progressive one that celebrates its cultural diversity and is open to refugees and immigrants.
"When you look at the response to the incident from people in Lethbridge, almost all of them are saying, 'That's not acceptable, that's not us,'" Spearman said.
I'm embarrassed for Canadians as well as for my city.Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman
Lethbridge police had been called to the Denny's but said they couldn't do anything, according to Omerzai. On Wednesday, the force said they're looking into the matter.
Mujtab Abdul Gahafar, who was at Denny's that night with Omerzai, told Global News that he doesn't take the incident as an accurate representation of Canada.
"She is what she is to herself, and I hope at some point in life she realizes that whatever she has inside of her is all hate and she needs to maybe get rid of some," he said.