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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Service With a Spite

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CN) - A Pizza Hut employee who conceived an animus for an African American customer harassed him with repeated phone calls saying, "We have nigger pizzas for sale," and threatening Klan vengeance, the rattled customer claims in court.

Joseph Wilson sued Southern California Pizza Co. dba Pizza Hut in Superior Court.

Wilson claims that he called a Pizza Hut to order a pizza on Dec. 15, 2012, and asked for clarification about the promotions. He says the Pizza Hut worker who answered the phone, "Christine[,] became enraged ... purported because of Joseph Wilson's repeated requests for clarification" about the specials.

Christine proceeded "to use foul language, casting malicious racial slurs and making fun of Joseph Wilson, including inquiry as to whether or not he was deaf," the complaint states.

Wilson says he asked to speak to a manager, to whom he complained, and then declined to order the pizza.

"Shortly thereafter, Joseph Wilson received a telephone call from a blocked number," he says in the complaint. He says he recognized Christine's voice.

"Immediately, Christine resumed her hurling of racial slurs at Joseph Wilson, calling him, among other things, a nigger," the lawsuit states. "She claimed to be an active member of the Ku Klux Klan and was going to join fellow Klan members to 'come get him,' even going so far as to threaten to burn a cross on his lawn."

Wilson says he hung up on her, but "received several more calls from Christine over the next few days. The remaining calls continued the pattern of belligerent disregard for the rights of Joseph Wilson with horrible statements such as, 'we have nigger pizzas for sale.'"

Wilson seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He is represented by Samuel Long, of Riverside.

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