A New York City lawyer has been accused of going on a bigoted rant against employees of a Manhattan restaurant because they were taking orders in Spanish and speaking in the language to each other. Aaron M. Schlossberg was identified by social media users on Wednesday, WPIX-TV reports.
Schlossberg, 42, runs his own law office in Manhattan. He did not respond to emails and phone calls from Heavy about the video and the outcry on social media. The video was first posted on Facebook on Tuesday, May 15, by Edward Suazo.
“They where on there [sic] lunch time and ordering there [sic] food and just because they where speaking in Spanish to the waiter this asshole jumps in and started to call the waiter and my wife and her best friend all types of names and threatened to call I.C.E on them and the employees,” Suazo wrote. “What a big man talking down to couple of women and a helpless employee. I wish someone tells me I can’t speak in my native language! First of all they wasn’t talking to you!!”
The Gothamist first reported on the video. Witnesses told the news site that the man was thrown out of the restaurant. The incident happened as customers were waiting for salads at the Fresh Kitchen on Madison Avenue near 39th Street, Gothamist reports. Shaun King, an activist and writer for The Intercept, posted on Twitter on Wednesday asking for people to name the man in the video. Three hours later, King posted Schlossberg’s name and info about his law firm. He said he was contacted by Schlossberg’s college classmates who identified him as the man in the video. Fresh Kitchen has not commented about the video.
Here’s what you need to know about Aaron Schlossberg and the incident:
1. The Man Can Be Heard in the Video Ranting ‘I Pay for Their Welfare’ & Threatening to Call ICE to Have the Workers ‘Kicked Out of My Country’
Who this this bigot in Midtown Manhattan? What’s his name?
Please share this.
Here he is harassing & insulting two women for speaking Spanish…TO EACH OTHER in the middle of Manhattan.
The 55-second video, which you can watch above, begins with the man identified as Aaron Schlossberg talking to a Fresh Kitchen employee, telling him that his staff is speaking to customers in Spanish, “when they should be speaking English.” The employee tells them sometimes they do, and Schlossberg turns around and points to the counter, saying, “every person I listened to, he spoke it, he spoke it, she’s speaking it, it’s America. Your staff should be speaking English, not Spanish.”
Bystanders can be heard reacting angrily as Schlossberg begins to leave, telling the employee he will be following up. “My guess is they are undocumented. So my next call is to ICE is to have each one of them kicked out of my country. If they have the balls to come here and live off of my money. I pay for their welfare, I pay for their ability to live here. The least they can do is speak English. If you intend on running a place in Midtown Manhattan the staff should be speaking English, not Spanish.”
He then turns to a bystander and holds up his phone, saying, “Honey, I’m calling ICE.” He then makes an apparent reference to the woman’s weight, pointing to her stomach and saying, “Maybe you shouldn’t eat that sandwich, take a break from the food,” before storming out.
A witness told Gothamist that Schlossberg was thrown out of the restaurant. “[They] let the lady stay but had the man go, because he was causing the trouble, screaming at people,” the witness told Gothamist. “I don’t know what to say. People are taught not to be bystanders, but it’s hard to get involved. This guy was really, really angry.”
Another worker told WPIX-TV, ““It was crazy. We just watched him scream, it was very fast. After he left, we just went back to work.”
The manager seen in the video, who asked not to be named, talked to the New York Daily News about the incident. He said a lunchtime regular was speaking Spanish with an employee when Schlossberg began causing a scene. “They were speaking Spanish because they are friends. He got mad, waiting in line for his food. He stormed out,” the manager, who said he was infuriated, but kept his cool, told the Daily News. “”He’s a customer, so I had to stay professional and ask him to leave. That’s what I did.”
2. Schlossberg, Who Studied Abroad in Spain, Promotes His Fluency in Spanish on His Law Firm’s Website & on Linkedin
Aaron Schlossberg promoted his ability to speak Spanish on his law firm’s website.
On his Linkedin profile, Aaron Schlossberg wrote that he studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, while in college. He also writes that he speaks four languages, French, Hebrew, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. On his law firm’s website, Schlossberg promotes his ability to speak those languages to his clients.
“Aaron M. Schlossberg doesn’t seem to mind people who speak other languages when he can make money from them,” one Twitter user commented. Another seconded that statement, tweeting, “For the record, I’d like to point out that when the ball bag Aaron M. Schlossberg wants your money, he gladly speaks numerous languages.” And a third tweeted, “Anyone else notice Schlossberg’s website? Does he call ICE after he takes your money? #DespicableHumanBeing”
“If he was so offended because the waiter was (speaking) in Spanish only because of a native person spoke to him in Spanish, why don’t he start waitering and he won’t have that issue and family stop getting Spanish nannies and stop getting Spanish people to farm and…,” Suazo wrote. “So please stop!! Because in the end you need them! But what you need to do is stop trying to control us! Slavery stopped a long time ago!!”
3. He Was Seen Among Trump-Supporters at a Protest in New York City Last Year, Yelling ‘You Are Not a Jew’ at Jewish People
Schlossberg was among a group of Trump supporters who protested in Manhattan on May 25, 2017, according to A Plus editor and columnist Issac Saul, who covered the rally at the time and filmed video of Schlossberg and the group. You can see that video above. In the video, Schlossberg can be seen telling Jewish people, “You are not a Jew,” chanting Milo’s name and swearing at them.
“My encounter with the man happened at an anti-Linda Sarsour rally on May 25, 2017. I reported on the rally for A Plus,” Saul wrote on Wednesday. “Sarsour was expected to deliver a commencement speech at City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and protesters had gathered on the street outside of my office building to object. Milo Yiannopoulos, Pamela Geller, and a host of other far-right conservative provocateurs were there.” Saul wrote on his website:
As Geller and Yiannopoulos’ speeches came to a close, the man wandered over to the opposite side of the street, where he and a few other people wearing Trump campaign apparel spotted Haredi Jews who were also there on the behalf of Neturei Karta International, and had come out to counter-protest in support of Palestine.
One of their lead rabbis, Dovid Feldman told me that he was there to defend Sarsour — who he said he knew — and spread his message of support for Palestine. But shortly after our interview began, he was interrupted by this man, who came over and berated him and a few other individuals who were with him. The man, who King identified as Schlossberg, insisted that Feldman was a “fake Jew,” inciting chants of “fake Jews” over and over again while giving them the middle finger.
In two videos I am publishing in full here for the first time, the man can be seen telling me that he’s been to Israel twice and is Jewish himself, all the while insisting Feldman, the well-known Haredi Jewish leader, was faking it. In a second video, he is again seen giving the group of Jews the middle finger, this time dancing and shaking his backside at them.
Saul tweeted, “I wouldn’t soon forget him. Had that crazy look in his eyes. Was a die hard Trumper and pretty unreasonably upset there were Jews supporting Palestine around.”
4. Schlossberg Went to Johns Hopkins for Undergrad & George Washington Law School Before Clerking for a New Jersey Judge
Aaron Schlossberg’s Linkedin profile.
Schlossberg, 42, graduated from The Haverford School in Pennsylvania in 1994, according to his Linkedin profile. He then went to Johns Hopkins University, where graduated in 1998 with an English degree. While there, he worked at the student newspaper, The News-Letter, as a staff writer, and studied abroad in Spain, he writes on Linkedin. In 2002, he graduated from the George Washington University Law School, where he worked at the legal clinic as a student.
Schlossberg clerked for New Jersey Superior Court Judge John Peterson, and then in 2003, started working as an associate attorney at The Law Offices of Michael Haskel in Mineola, New York. In 2005, he moved briefly to Ohrenstein & Brown in Manhattan and then on to Havkins Rosenfield Ritzert & Varriale, also in Manhattan, where he was an associate from 2005 to 2012.
“Aaron Schlossberg focuses on complex commercial and insurance coverage matters involving corporate clients, entrepreneurs and individual policyholders. Mr. Schlossberg drafts and negotiates high-level contract documents and appears frequently in state and federal courts throughout New York State,” he wrote on Linkedin. “Mr. Schlossberg’s approach has always involved creating advantages for his clients through utilization of a detailed knowledge of the law, extensive trial experience and a creative approach to dispute resolution. By excelling in these three areas — knowledge, experience and creativity — he is able to resolve even the most complex disputes.”
He added, “Ms. Schlossberg’s focus is on providing his clients with a resolution that is efficient and effective. If he can resolve a dispute without having to litigate, he will. Mr. Schlossberg has been able to generate positive results for clients in the past through various pre-dispute resolution techniques.”
5. He Started His Own Law Office in 2012 & People Have Flooded the Firm’s Yelp & Facebook Pages With Negative Reviews
GoogleThe Google search results for Schlossberg’s law firm.
Schlossberg founded The Law Office of Aaron M. Schlossberg, Esq. P.L.L.C. in June 2012, according to his Linkedin profile. “The firm’s business and commercial law attorneys serve individuals, entrepreneurs and business owners in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties and beyond. The firm handles business law matters, including commercial litigation, contract disputes, partnership & shareholder disputes, talent/entertainment agreements, construction development disputes, and commercial & residential real estate contracts. Additionally, the firm handles insurance coverage litigation and provides outside counsel and pre-litigation dispute resolution,” he wrote.
On the firm’s website, he writes, “At The Law Office of Aaron M. Schlossberg, Esq., P.L.L.C., in New York City, we are committed to providing our clients with the highly effective results that they need. We serve individuals, entrepreneurs and business owners throughout New York, New Jersey and abroad. Our approach has always involved creating advantages for our clients through utilization of a detailed knowledge of the law, extensive trial experience and a creative approach to dispute resolution. By excelling in these three areas — knowledge, experience and creativity — we are able to resolve even the most complex disputes.”
Facebook, Yelp and Google pages for Schlossberg’s law office have been flooded by thousands of angry comments, leading to 1-star ratings.
Shaun King and others on social have called for the state bar to take action against Schlossberg. “I am asking the New York Bar Association (@nysba) to also look into your bigoted hate here & across NYC,” King tweeted. He said that seven of Schlossberg’s classmates from Johns Hopkins and George Washington contacted him and said “they aren’t surprised” by the video.
“You are now famous and trending in the United States. You will be known for your overt bigotry and harassment for a very long time. You should be disbarred. We have filed complaints with the NY Bar & NY Human Rights Commission,” King added. Stehen Gillers, a legal ethics professor at NYU, told Forward that Schlossberg won’t be disbarred.
“Mr. Schlossberg could be disciplined for this conduct but it will not lead to disbarment. A lawyer can be disciplined for conduct even if the conduct is unrelated to work for a client,” he said.”Factors a disciplinary committee will consider in deciding what if any discipline is warranted include extenuating circumstances and whether Mr. Schlossberg has prior discipline. If he does not, I think the most serious discipline he could face would be a private admonition if he has a clean record. That means the discipline will not become public.”