(RIVERSIDE) — A woman is calling out Metrolink, alleging she was kicked off a train when she complained to the conductor about a racist remark she felt an employee made against her and her family.
Metrolink rider Felisha Carrasco did not want to speak to CBS2 News on camera Monday, but in a video she posted on her Instagram account, Saturday’s incident at the Riverside Metrolink station can be seen and heard unfolding.
“This a—–e just said that this train is going to Tijuana because there’s Hispanics, including my dad, on this f—–g —” Carrasco can be heard saying as her recording device is pointing at a person dressed in a security guard’s uniform.
The man walks away, and as the doors to the train open again, the conductor tells Carrasco, “He was talking to me.”
“Who cares? We heard you,” Carrasco says right before the video cuts off.
The caption for the video reads as follows:
“Please READ! At the Metrolink station in Riverside and two workers made a racist comment saying ‘This train is going to Tijuana’ because the majority of passengers in the cart where Hispanics including my DAD! I got kicked off the train for telling him that was racist. Afterwards he said ‘This is the world we live in’ His name is Tom Balaja. I called and made a statement to the security company about the security guard who made the comment as well as the metrolink for the conductor who participated.”
Carrasco said she and her family had been planning to take the train down to the beach when the incident occurred.
In a video posted later, a visibly upset Carrasco says she was subsequently kicked off the train.
“I can’t even speak, I’m sorry,” Carrasco says into the camera. “A guy who was loading us on made a joke. He said, ‘This train must be going to Tijuana.'”
She said she continued to protest and use foul language, which might have led to her removal.
After the conductor tried to deflect the comment onto himself, she told him it mattered little.
Carrasco continues, “I said, ‘It doesn’t matter, if he’s talking to me. Everyone heard you.’ And he was, like, ‘Well, it’s freedom of speech,’ and I said, ‘No, that’s not freedom of speech. That’s hate speech.'”
Metrolink said the comments are being taken seriously by the agency and Allied Universal, for the security company.
A statement from Allied Universal public relations manager Angela Burrell reads, in part, “We do not condone discrimination of any sort, and have taken immediate action to suspend the employee involved, pending a full investigation.”
Metrolink said it has also suspended the conductor while they investigate, saying, “Please know the highest levels of the agency are involved and will ensure Metrolink riders are treated with dignity and respect.”
Carrasco said on social media she does not want either of these men to lose their jobs, but she does want acknowledgment that what happened was hurtful and wrong, adding she hopes the community can ride the train without having to hear racist remarks.