Falmouth, MA– On Friday, February 15, 2019, Rosiane Santos, 41, approached fellow diner Bryton Turner, 23, while he was eating his dinner at Casa Vallarta in Falmouth and knocked his hat off his head. Turner was wearing a “Make America Great Again” or MAGA trucker hat. He captured some of the incident on video. Santos is a Brazilian citizen, and today Boston 25 News reported that she is facing deportation proceedings by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency as she is in the country unlawfully.
Santos and Turner were both dining at the popular Mexican restaurant when Santos spotted Turner’s hat. Santos walked over to Turner and knocked the hat off his head. When he put it back on, she did slapped it off again several times as she verbally confronted him about his hat. "Make American Great Again" is the slogan that President Donald Trump campaigned on. Witnesses said that Turner was minding his own business and did nothing to provoke the attack. According to Turner, Santos tried to shove his face into his food before he began recording.
The police were called shortly after and had some difficulty removing Santos from the restaurant. Santos told police that Turner should not be allowed to eat at a Mexican restaurant, likely implying that supporters of President Trump, who is building a wall along the Mexican border, should not be welcome in Mexican restaurants. Meanwhile, the bartender, who is of Mexican descent, tried to tell her there was no problem.
Turner told WBZ, “It’s just a hat at the end of the day.” He went on to state that he didn’t understand why it was not okay for people to express themselves anymore. In his cell phone recording of the altercation, Turner says, "That's the problem with America these days, people are just ignorant."
According to NECN, police officers reported that Santos had "bloodshot and glassy" eyes when she was arrested on Friday night. As officers were escorting her out of the restaurant, she allegedly hit Turner in the head.
WFXT-TV followed up with a statement from Santos saying that she "regrets her actions that evening" but that she was provoked by Turner. “I had a little bit to drink maybe that’s the reason that I couldn’t walk away but being discriminated for so many times in my life, I just had to stand up for myself," she said. "He’s not a victim. I am the victim. I have been bullied, OK?”
In Falmouth District Court on Wednesday February 20th, Santos pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and battery along with disorderly conduct. Santos was taken into custody by ICE on Tuesday February 26th and will appear in federal immigration court.