- Bidisha Rudra filed the lawsuit against Esmeralda Upton in a Collin County civil court last week, for compensatory and punitive damages.
One of the four Indian American women who was subjected to racial abuse and attack outside a restaurant in Plano, Texas last month, has sued the Mexican-American woman for her racist rant and physical attack. Bidisha Rudra filed the lawsuit against Esmeralda Upton in a Collin County civil court last week, for compensatory and punitive damages the Dallas Observer reported.
According to the petition, Upton approached Rudra and her friends after they exchanged farewells in Bengali in the restaurant’s parking lot. Since then she’s lived with post-traumatic stress and high blood pressure and constantly fears another attack, she says in the petition, per The Dallas Morning News.
The lawsuit comes about a month after Upton was caught on video harassing Rudra and three of her friends — Rani Banerjee, Anamika Chatterjee and Sabori Saha —outside of Sixty Vines off Dallas Parkway. Upton was arrested on the following day by the Plano Police Department on charges of bodily assault and making terroristic threats. She has since been released on $10,000 bail.
Describing the incident as “traumatic,” Rudra told The Dallas Morning News that the attack was “so blatant, in our face, in a neighborhood where I belong — a neighborhood where I feel secure, loved by my neighbors.” Her life has changed since then, she told the publication. “I can’t let my guard down.”
Her lawyer, Veronica S. Moyé, added that “serious consequences” were needed against Upton — especially considering the alleged physical violence and threats to shoot the women. “We think there has to be serious, serious consequences for Ms. Upton to send a message that this kind of behavior will be dealt with in the strongest possible way,” Moyé told The Dallas Morning News. “An apology would be nice, but certainly would not remedy all of the harm that these women had suffered.”
The Aug. 24 incident, captured on camera, shows Upton walking up to the women in the parking lot and harassing them. When asked why she approached them, she continues with her hate-filled rants. “Go back to India. You curry-assed people are ruining this country,” she is heard saying at one point. “If life was so great in India, why the fuck are y’all here,” she says, adding: “You Indians are fucking everywhere.”
At times, Upton can be seen walking very close to one of the women and starts getting physically violent, hitting and shoving her. She is seen physically assaulting another of the women and intimidating a third one, who was recording the incident on her phone, threatening to kill her. “Turn that goddamn phone off, or I swear to god I’ll fucking shoot your ass,” she said, as she was seen reaching out inside her bag.
One of the women is seen calling 911 immediately and when she identifies Upton as a white woman, she says she’s Mexican American and was born and raised here. When asked “what makes [her] think that [they] are not American,” she tells them, “because of the way you speak, because I’m a Mexican American, and I speak English.”