Woman arrested after racist rant, assault in restaurant lot

PLANO, Texas — A woman has been arrested and may face hate crime charges after she was caught on video in a racist rant and assault on women of South Asian descent in a parking lot in a Dallas suburb.

Plano police said in a statement Thursday that Esmeralda Upton, 58, of Plano, has been arrested and charged with assault and terrorist threat charges. She was jailed with $10,000 bail.

Rani Banerjee told Dallas TV station WFAA that she and three friends had just finished eating at a restaurant when Upton approached them in the parking lot.

“Suddenly we heard this woman yelling at us and came to us. We were shocked by the racist remarks she used and the combative attitude,” Banerjee said.

The police statement said the incident is being investigated as a hate crime. Prison officials had no attorney for Upton.

The confrontation took place outside a restaurant in Plano shortly after 8 p.m. on Wednesday. A widely circulated video showed Upton unleashing a blasphemous diatribe, challenging their presence in the United States, threatening to shoot them and physically assaulting Banerjee, who was recording the confrontation on her phone.

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