Huntington restaurant owner issues apology following racist Facebook rant
The owner of Tutto Pazzo restaurant in Huntington has issued a video apology on YouTube after his remarks about George Floyd protesters drew anger from the local community and nationwide.
Luigi Petrone used Facebook Live to criticize protesters, warned businesses owners to "be careful", called protesters "animals, savages" and said "a bunch of us" were going to throw watermelons at the protesters.
Protesters came out to the restaurant in the following days to denounce Petrone's words, where some even left watermelons at the restaurant.
Restaurant co-owner and brother of Luigi, Joey Petrone, who was not in the video, also denounced the video.
Luigi Petrone issued the 3.5-minute apology on YouTube, reading from pieces of paper and expressing regret for what he said.
"I profusely apologize to my family, my friends and the community of Huntington, who I love so much, I am truly embarrassed and ashamed by my words and actions toward those I have hurt, especially those young men and women who were peacefully protesting on June 1st. There is no excuse and no words to express the deep of my regret. I recognize how wrong I was," said Luigi Petrone.
He also recognized reaction to the Facebook Live extended beyond Long Island, saying, "I also am aware this reaction has extended further outside just this community, and I do not expect for a simple apology to be the answer, rather a start point for conversation and changes."
Luigi Petrone also said he plans to work with his brother in having him take over his ownership interest in the restaurant.
He added that he wants to meet with community and youth leaders to create a plan to move forward.