Two Dallas women are accusing the owner of Far North Dallas pizzeria Carmine’s of berating them with racial slurs when they visited his restaurant, and have posted a video online showing a portion of the incident.
Tamika Sanders posted a video to her Facebook page showing Carlos Pinto, owner of Carmine’s Pizzeria on Campbell Road in North Dallas, yelling and berating Sanders and her aunt when they visited the restaurant. Sanders’s aunt Shiri Gupton began filming the encounter, allegedly after Pinto used a racial slur to refer to the two women.
Sanders says that Pinto referred to her and Gupton as “darkies” before the camera started rolling, and refused to serve them pizza. “He was yelling, ‘Darkies coming in my store, yelling in my store,’” Gupton alleges. “It was degrading and racist. I was just hoping he didn’t have a knife or gun on him. It felt like he wanted to do something to us, and possibly the reason he didn’t is because he had customers in there.” In her Facebook post, Sanders alleges that Pinto “charged” at both women.
“I thought he was going to hit me; I have never felt so threatened in my life,” said Sanders, a social worker in low-income communities of color. “I was afraid to turn my back to walk out.” She also says that none of the restaurant’s customers came to her defense during the incident.
Shortly after Gupton began filming the interaction, Pinto is shown on video calling the Dallas police, saying that the two women “have a racial complaint with me.” “They think I’m too white for them or something like that,” Pinto can be heard saying on the video. Later, Pinto demands that the women “get the hell out” of his restaurant, and tells the dispatcher that the women could be armed with knives. “We had no knives, but he knew how to lie to police dispatch, what to say to have the cops come with their weapons drawn,” Gupton says. “It felt like this man wanted us dead.”
Watch the video here:
After the incident, Sanders and Gupton took to social media to share what happened, and they scoured the restaurant’s online reviews looking for similar experiences to theirs. They found a handful of complaints on Yelp and Google dating back to 2015 alleging that Pinto had used racial slurs to refer to customers in the past. One review was from an UberEats driver who said that Pinto’s wife, who also works in the store, had used the n-word to refer to her when she tried to pick up a delivery. Sanders reached out, and connected with the driver.
That driver, Kimberly Randall, tells Eater that in April of this year, Pinto’s wife allegedly shoved a pizza box into her chest and complained that she wasn’t holding it correctly. “As I was walking out of the front door with my delivery order, I heard her say ‘Fuck you, ni***r,’” Randall claims. “I came back in and asked what she just said, and she had no problem repeating it.” Randall also alleges that Pinto himself said “get out of my restaurant, you black bitch,” and threatened her. “They never came,” Randall says of the police, who she called after her interaction with Pinto. “I also reported it to Uber, followed up for about a week, and they didn’t do anything at all.” The restaurant is still on Uber Eats’ platform.
Sanders says that she has filed a police report with Dallas Police after her incident with Pinto this past weekend. Sanders also contacted the NAACP who encouraged her to file a formal “complaint” with the Dallas Police Department, and she’s working with another civil rights advocacy group, Next Generation Action Network, on next steps. The viral video has also caused confusion and resulted in phone calls and negative reviews mistakenly applied to the Yelp account of another North Dallas pizzeria called Carmine’s Pizza, located on Spring Valley Road, that is not affiliated with Pinto’s restaurant.
When Eater contacted Carmine’s Pizzeria on Campbell, Pinto declined to comment on the incident, and the Dallas Police Department was unable to provide any additional information.
Update, August 30: This post has been updated to clarify that the Carmine’s Pizzeria on Campbell Road that is owned by Pinto is not affiliated with other pizzerias named Carmine’s in DFW, including the location on Spring Valley.