News

The Woman Who Unleashed a Racist Tirade at Denny’s Has Been Fired

Kelly Pocha’s employer Cranbrook Dodge “deeply apologized” for her behavior.
Manisha Krishnan
Toronto, CA
May 10, 2018, 3:52pm
Kelly Pocha has been fired over her racist rant at Denny's. Screenshots via Facebook

Kelly Pocha, the woman who unleashed a violent and racist tirade at a group of men at a Lethbridge, Alberta Denny’s, has been fired from her job at Cranbrook Dodge.

Pocha’s rant, captured on video, went viral yesterday. In it, she is seen berating a group of men at Denny’s because she doesn’t believe they are Canadian.

“Shut your fucking mouth then, ‘cause you know what? You’re dealing with a Canadian woman right now and I will leap across this table and punch you right in your fucking mouth,” Pocha tells the men.

She accuses them of not paying taxes and tells them to “Go back to your fucking country.”

Pocha told Lethbridge News Now she felt “provoked” when she heard the men “talking in their own language” because she assumed they were making fun of her. She claimed she was having an “off day” but that her racist words were “not who I am.”

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After the video, which has been viewed more than 1 million times on Facebook, went viral, Pocha said, “I don't know how to handle this kind of attention.”

Her employer, Cranbrook Dodge, condemned her actions in a statement issued on social media.

“We have recently become aware of a disturbing video that involves one of our employees. We are deeply concerned about the content of this video and want all of our friends, families, colleagues, and customers to know that this behaviour does not reflect the values of Cranbrook Dodge,” the statement says. “The employee in question has been terminated and we deeply apologize for her actions.”

One of the men Pocha verbally attacked, Monir Omerzai, said both Denny’s management and police asked his group to leave the restaurant before kicking Pocha out. Denny’s head office has not yet responded to VICE’s request for comment, though a manager from that location told VICE he believes police removed both parties.

Lethbridge police have not yet responded to multiple interview requests, however they did issue a statement saying that when they arrived, Denny's staff had already separated the two parties and had refused them service.

"Any information being circulated on social media suggesting that police advised only one group to leave and escorted them out of the restaurant is false," the statement says. It says there have been no further reports to police given by anyone involved in the incident.

According to Pocha’s LinkedIn, she worked as a controller at Cranbrook Dodge for more than 11 years.

Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman described the incident as racist and “embarrassing” for his community.

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.

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