The restaurateur at the center of a controversy over racist remarks made about Black Lives Matter protesters issued an apology Wednesday evening.
On Monday, Luigi Petrone posted a video of himself warning residents about the marchers, who were headed into downtown Huntington, and called them “little animals, savages” and said he was prepared to throw watermelons at them. By Tuesday morning, protesters had arrived at his boarded-up restaurant, Tutto Pazzo, carrying watermelons and signs mocking and condemning him.
Another march followed Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, protesters arrived at Pancho Villa, whose owner, Augie Abbatiello Jr., had appeared in the same video as the two walked around downtown; Abbatiello, however, didn’t comment, and on Wednesday morning, he apologized to protesters and tried to make amends.
Here is what Luigi Petrone said Wednesday evening:
It is with great humility and remorse, as well as deep regret that I profusely apologize to my family, my friends and the community of Huntington, Long Island, who I love so much, states Luigi Petrone.I am truly embarrassed and ashamed by my words and actions towards those I have hurt, especially those young men and women who were peacefully protesting in Huntington on June 1st.There are no excuses and no words to express the depth of my regret. I recognize how wrong I was and how much pain and anger I have caused this great community I love and cherish.I also am aware this reaction has extended further outside just this community, and I do not expect for a simply apology to be the answer, rather a starting point for conversation and changes I intend to make, in my personal life and in the Huntington community.It is with sincere hope that over time, I will be able to re-build trust with so many people I have hurt. My next step is to meet with our community leaders, most importantly the youth leaders, to create a plan and way to move forward, and I have already started the outreach process and actively listening and learning to better myself as a human being. I take full responsibility and understand the severity of my words and actions knowing that repairing the damage will be a long road. It is only over time that you will see my commitment to change. Another first step is to work with my brother so that he can take over my ownership interest in Tutto Pazzo, and I can start my journey of educating myself and growing from this devastating experience.Until then, I continue to ask you all for forgiveness, and that any and all words said were mine alone and do not reflect my fellow Huntington business owners, such as my own brother and partner of 27-years, Joseph Petrone, as well as Pancho Villa owner Augie Abbatiello, Jr. pictured in the video with me.In closing, I’d like to reiterate that I am so deeply sorry and fully willing to do whatever is necessary to make this right and help heal the deep wounds I have caused.Many Thanks,
Mr. Petrone’s Representativeshttps://huntingtonnow.com/protest-over-racist-video-expands-to-second-restaurant/