DALLAS — A Lakewood area woman is gaining viral attention after video was published of her threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a couple of food truck operators.
The woman, who asked to be identified as “Valerie,” is seen in the 49-second video having a confrontation with a couple of unidentified food vendors who stopped near a construction site on her street. The homeowner told the vendors to leave.
“Ok babygirl, vamanos,” Valerie told the women.
“I’m not your babygirl,” one of the vendors replied.
"I’ll call I.C.E.!" Valerie said.
“Call them,” the vendor said. “Call them! You can call them! Call them right now!”
The video now has the homeowner being labeled “Taco Truck Tammy” on social media.
“I’m scared for my safety,” Valerie said. “I’m going viral."
Valerie said she is well aware of the backlash she is receiving across social media for threatening to call I.C.E. "It was an unfortunate comment. I mean, I wish I’d used my words better.”
Valerie claims the online video does not show the entire story. Valerie said she is preparing to sell her home and there is construction surrounding her property. Valerie claims she was at a breaking point when the taco truck arrived on her street last week.
"There’s all the honking going on with the taco truck. There’s the hammering, and the beeping, and the sawing, and everything else. I just walked out and I said, 'You guys can’t be here. This is a residential area, you guys need to move.' It was probably that curt.”
Valerie claims the taco truck operators lashed out at her first, and it all went downhill from there. “The guys called me, and they were like, 'We’re leaving,' said Gabriella Unger, who supervises some construction workers on the street.
Unger said some of her employees are immigrants from Mexico. She said they feared the neighbor was using the threat of calling I.C.E as intimidation.
"Well, it is very frustrating," Unger said. "You know, nowadays, we know the situation. But, you know, I wish we were respected more.”
There are some questions as to whether the food truck violated City of Dallas code by operating in Valerie’s neighborhood, which is less than 600 feet from a school.
This incident is the latest in videotaped moments that have gone viral, where white women threatened to call authorities on minorities. Social media was quick to chime in on other cases, including Barbecue Becky (after a woman called police on a group of black people having a cook-out), Permit Patty (after a San Francisco woman called police to report a child selling bottles of water to raise money for a trip), and Cornerstore Caroline (where a woman falsely accused a 9-year-old boy of sexually assaulting her at a store in New York).
Valerie said in hindsight, she regrets the moment has become another hashtag.
”You know what, it was unfortunate," she said. "It’s taught me to watch my words, maybe a little more carefully.”