[UPDATE BELOW] The white man who berated and threatened to call ICE on a group of people who were speaking Spanish at a Fresh Kitchen in midtown has been widely identified as Aaron Schlossberg, a practicing attorney based on Madison Avenue. A Congressman and the Bronx Borough President have filed a grievance against him.
Repeated attempts to reach Schlossberg by phone and email have so far been unsuccessful. He has not publicly commented on the Fresh Kitchen video.
Schlossberg, who allegedly accused Spanish-speakers of having "the balls to come here and live off my money," reportedly gave $500 to Donald Trump's presidential campaign. It appears that he has previously been spotted at local progressive rallies, flipping off demonstrators, and in another incident called a stranger on the street an "ugly fucking foreigner." According to his LinkedIn page (which has since been removed), he is a graduate of the Haverford School, an all boy's private high school in Philadelphia, and has a law degree from George Washington University.
This is the unedited video from October of 2016 of Manhattan Attorney Aaron Schlossberg assaulting, then calling a complete stranger "an ugly fucking foreigner" on the sidewalk on 5th Avenue.
The man he's talking to, @morewillie, is a white man from Massachusetts.
He's unhinged pic.twitter.com/epkpFWggx6
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 17, 2018
A local attorney who has encountered Schlossberg in court told Gothamist that Schlossberg is the man seen in the video, and confirmed the viral rant is "on par with his normal behavior. He basically looks like he's always on coke. That's just the way he is."
"In my encounters with him he's a real hot-head," the lawyer, who asked to remain anonymous, said. "He'll flip a switch pretty quick and all of a sudden he's a raging lunatic. He is as ridiculous as he is in the video. That's the way he is in real life."
Please let Attorney Aaron M. Schlossberg of Midtown Manhattan know I’m trying to get in touch with him. I have a few questions.
If you reach him, ask how often he eats at the Fresh Kitchen next door to his office and if he has a problem with people speaking Spanish there. pic.twitter.com/8pgQ6wZNzi
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 16, 2018
Since the video went viral, his firm's Yelp and (since-deleted) Facebook page have received a torrent of negative reviews, with commenters calling him "racist trash" and a "despicable human being." Shaun King, who first circulated the video, and Congressman Adriano Espaillat have both called on the New York State Bar Association to look into the attorney's actions. A Change.org petition demanding his disbarment now has nearly 7,000 signatures.
— Adriano Espaillat (@RepEspaillat) May 16, 2018
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe campaign to send a a Mariachi band to play La Cucaracha in Schlossberg's law office has so far raised $1,029. Having more than doubled their goal, the campaign's organizer now plans to send a Taco truck as well. And a "salsa party" is planned for Friday night outside Schlossberg's office.
Latinx New Yorkers bash back--with salsa. Party tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/7tSLHNoABS
— Jeremiah Moss (@jeremoss) May 17, 2018
UPDATE 12 p.m.: Schlossberg's rapid descent into viral infamy isn't stopping him from practicing law today. PIX 11 caught up with him outside a courtroom in Queens this morning:
EXCLUSIVE: Just happened - I confronted Aaron Schlossberg outside court in Queens. He surprisingly had nothing to say about his racist rant. This is the FIRST time we see him after he went viral. @PIX11News pic.twitter.com/e1T6S4kLTU
— Andrew Ramos (@AndrewRamosTV) May 17, 2018
Earlier today, the Daily News and other paparazzo confronted Schlossberg outside his home on West 60th Street. He called 911 to report them for "accosting" him. It's unclear whether any calls were placed to ICE.
Congressman Adriano Espaillat and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. have filed a grievance against Schlossberg, saying in part, "The audacity to profile and verbally assault innocent bystanders and customers in a public commercial location is a violation of our civil society. We watched Aaron’s video and we were disgusted. We are filing this formal grievance to the State Grievance Committee because to affirm that such misconduct and behavior will not, and must never be tolerated."