Esmeralda Upton is a Plano, Texas, real estate agent who was caught on video in a racist rant against a group of women with Indian accents.
Plano police announced on August 25 that they had made an “assault arrest” in a “disturbance” involving Upton, whose full name is Esmeralda Armendarez Upton. She also uses the name Esmi Upton on social media, although her Facebook page is now blank. Her LinkedIn page has been deleted. It, too, was in the name Esmi Upton.
The video was shared by the daughter of one of the Indian women. The caption says, “This random woman came up to them cursing and throwing slurs. This incident occurred in Dallas, Texas after my mom and her three friends went to dinner. Suddenly she starts assaulting the four Indian women. Right before the police arrived she pulled out what seemed to be a gun and threatened to kill.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Accused Upton of ‘Terroristic Threats’ & ‘Assault Bodily Injury’
In a news release posted to their Facebook page, Plano police revealed that, on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, at approximately 8:15 p.m., Plano Police Officers “responded to a disturbance that had just occurred in the parking lot of a business in the 3700 block of Dallas Parkway.”
“Upon officers arrival, several women advised that they had been assaulted by another woman at the location. Based on witness statements, the officer completed an offense report for Assault Bodily Injury (a Class A Misdemeanor) and Terroristic Threats (a Class B Misdemeanor),” they wrote.
At approximately 3:50 p.m. the following day, Plano police detectives “arrested Esmeralda Upton of Plano on one charge of Assault Bodily Injury and one for Terroristic Threats and is being held on a total bond amount of $10,000.”
Police noted: “This incident is currently under investigation by the Plano Police Department’s Crime Against Persons Unit as a hate crime. Additional charges may be forthcoming.”
2. The Video Captured Upton Threatening to ‘Shoot Your A**’ as She Made Racist Comments About Indians
The video, which had more than 2.9 million views as of midday on August 26, captures Upton making racist comments. A woman off-camera asks Upton why she approached her and her companions as minded their own business.
“Because you’re f****** Indians, that’s why,” Upton responded. “These f****** Indians, they come to America because they want a better life but they’re obviously not living the great life in India. You come to our country, and you want everything free. I am Mexican-American. I was born here.”
“What makes you think we are not Americans?” one of the women says.
“Because of the way you speak. Because I’m a Mexican-American, and I speak English.”
A woman off-camera said she was talking to her friend when Upton approached her.
“Everywhere I f****** look, you Indians are f****** everywhere. If life is so great in India, why are you all here? Turn your f****** camera off, and I’m happy to talk.”
“I’m Mexican, I’m Mexican, and I paid my f*cking way here,” Upton said in the video. At that point, filmed from a wider angle, she appears to hit a woman.
The video then cuts to the point-of-view angle, and Upton appears to hit the person holding the camera. “Don’t touch me,” a woman said.
“Oh, she’s hitting me; she’s hitting me,” the woman said as more hitting occurs.
“Go back to your car,” one of the women tells Upton, who rants, “Turn your f****** camera off.”
At another point she says, “Turn your f****** phone off or I swear to God I’ll shoot your a**.” She also said, “Don’t tell me what to f****** do, b****.”
Reema Rasool, a politician who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in New York’s August 23 primary, shared the video on Twitter.
“This is so scary. She actually had a gun and wanted to shoot because these Indian American women had accents while speaking English,” Rasool tweeted. “Disgusting. This awful woman needs to be prosecuted for a hate crime.”
3. Upton Has Worked as a ‘Commercial Real Estate Closer’
Online records show that Upton is 58 years old and has lived in Plano and Dallas.
A cache of her now-deleted LinkedIn page says that her current job was listed as “Commercial Real Estate Closer at California Federal Bank, FSB.”
She listed her education as bachelor’s degree, “Business/Commerce, General from Mountain View College.”
4. The Victims Said Their Sense of Safety Was ‘Shattered’ & They Were ‘Terrified’
The victims spoke to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth for a story aired on August 25.
“Our sense of safety was shattered in this incident,” one of the women said.
“In one word, we were terrified,” another said.
“I feel extremely humiliated that this could happen in a place like this,” one of the women said.
“It hurts you, right? It hurts you real bad.”
5. Upton’s Husband, Tom Upton, Died in a Bicycle Accident Two Years Ago
According to an obituary, Upton’s husband, Tom, died in 2020 at age 54 in a bicycle accident.
“Tom was married to Esmeralda Armendarez in Dallas, Texas on October 27, 2001. Two of the loves of their life soon followed” with the births of two children in 2003 and 2005, the obituary says.
Tom Upton was student body president in college, served in the Montana National Guard and as a captain in U.S. Army Military Intelligence, and worked for IBM and Support Net, according to his obituary.
“Tom was a Director of Product Division at Support Net until 2002 at which time he began his career with Microsoft Corporation in Dallas. Tom quickly advanced in the organization with an impressive track record of success. He held various leadership roles, most recently as Senior Director, Customer Success,” the obituary reads.
It adds: “Tom was a loving husband and father who brightened the day of everyone he encountered. To say he was active in his family and community is an understatement. He was a lector, active with fundraising, coaching, and numerous other activities at the Prince of Peace Catholic Church and School where he and his family worshiped and his kids attended pre-school through middle school.”
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