A food cart owner who was arrested this week for assaulting a customer released two lengthy YouTube videos addressing the incident.
Islam El Masry, the owner of Small Pharoah's halal cart, was filmed throwing a bottle of Gatorade at costumer Carlotta Washington, who is black. El Masry also allegedly called Washington the n-word and sprayed her with Sriracha. The video was sent to Willamette Week by an eyewitness.
"I am really sorry for what happened for me, and for her, too," El Masry says at the beginning of the first video.
In both videos, El Masry admits to verbally assaulting Washington, but rejects the racial implications of his actions: "If he or she makes me angry, I want to make her the same, too. Nothing personal, nothing about her people."
El Masry claims that he was "in a bad mood" because he was fasting for Ramadan, and cites and faults the press for covering the assault. "The worst thing in this life and this world right now: the media," he says. "Don't trust them at all."
He also spends a great deal of the videos discussing his personal life and family. "I am in a bad mood most of the time because I'm under pressure," he says in the second video. "I want to sell everything and go home to my family in Egypt. My sister died one and a half years ago, two. I didn't see her. Even my son was far from me and I've never seen him."
In the videos, El Masry implies that he has had similar disputes with his customers. "This happens every day with me at the business. What's new?" he says. "It's happens every day, like five, six times a day."
In an interview with KGW yesterday, Washington also addressed the assault, saying, "I want to extend forgiveness to him. I feel he should be held accountable for what he's done but I don't want him to be in jail. I need him to know that I don't think he's right, but I understand."