x
Breaking News
More () »

Portland's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Portland, Oregon | KGW.com

Husband of woman in viral video of racist rant at Phoenix gas station says she suffers from mental illness

At a Valley gas station, a woman can be heard telling another woman she will be sent back to Mexico before getting slapped.

PHOENIX — A husband is now saying sorry after a racist tirade inside a Valley gas station went viral.

Greg Conn was getting snacks and drinks inside the gas station when the confrontation was caught on camera.

“It was so blatant, so in your face racism.” Conn said. 

According to Conn, a woman later confirmed to be Tamara Harrian, came into the Superpump gas station near 7th Street and Greenway Road in north Phoenix.

She complained her pump was not working and wanted a clerk to help before yelling at another customer.

"She said (to Karina), 'Go get in line,' and Karina said, 'Excuse me, I can help myself,' and that’s when it all started."

Conn said Tamara claimed to be the manager of the gas station before telling clerks not to serve Karina. 

“Are you the manager?” Karina can be heard asking on the video.

"Yes, you need to leave. You need to leave. We are not serving her," Tamara said.

From there, the argument escalated, with at one point, Tamara told Karina to go back to Mexico before grabbing Karina. Karina then slapped Tamara.

In a statement, Superpumper said: 

"The woman shown in the video is NOT and never has been a manager, employee, or owner at Superpumper.

She has been banned from all our locations.

Superpumper does not condone any type of racist or hate speech in any of our stores or offices.

We strive to provide a peaceful, safe, and enjoyable atmosphere for all customers and employees."

"My heart hurts. When I left I cried a lot, it makes me very sad that this is happening," Karina said in a Spanish interview with Telemundo. "She came very authoritatively as if she were status in which we will have to serve her, a level that we did not have."

“Horrible things were said and a lot of those horrible things came from my wife. It came from a spot of an illness,” Bob Harrian, Tamara's husband, said.

Bob apologized on behalf of his wife, who he said suffers an undiagnosed mental illness that she has refused treatment for. 

When pressed why there has been no diagnosis, Bob said he was unable to involuntarily commit her because she was not a danger to herself, and Tamara did not believe anything was wrong with her. 

"This is your spouse you have known and loved for 30 years and she is starting to slip away. And you are trying to get her help but you can’t get her help because she doesn’t think there is anything wrong with her," Bob Harrian said. 

The clerk at the gas station took the high road, going outside to calm the two groups after the racial exchange.

MORE STORIES:

Code Red? Arizona hospitals could run out of beds by July, public health expert says

March against police brutality continues in downtown Phoenix for 12th day

VERIFY: Birmingham, Alabama, didn't shut down; KKK rumors were false, city officials say