The 60-year-old woman at the center of an alleged racist tirade against another New Jersey woman whom she allegedly turned on for intervening while she was berating a mailman has been arrested, police in Bayonne said Wednesday.
Claudia Emanuele is charged with bias intimidation and harassment stemming from the incident reported by the 40-year-old victim, who identified herself to News 4 as Tameka Bordeaux.
Bordeaux had said she noticed Emanuele scolding a mail carrier over the delivery time around 3 p.m. Monday and went to offer some "neighborly advice," according to the police report. At that point, Emanuele allegedly launched into a racially charged tirade against Bordeaux, even following her, continuing to shout racial slurs, when she tried to walk away.
According to police, another concerned citizen witnessed that exchange and tried to intervene, walking with Bordeaux in an attempt to ensure her safety. They got to a convenience store and someone else was able to calm Emanuele and get her to leave, police said. Bordeaux, meanwhile, had captured the confrontation on video and turned it over to police, which resulted in the arrest announced Wednesday.
Bordeaux told News 4 she is still trying to process what happened.
"(I) try to calm her down, tell her he can't do anything," Bordeaux said of the start of the incident. "Immediately as I said that, she started hurling every N-word you can imagine. And from there that became a five-block journey."
She says she's grateful to the people who stepped in to help her -- and that she was able to personally exercise restraint during the verbal attack.
"If you see someone being treated like that, say something," Bordeaux said. "If out of 100 people, I get to people to not to punch someone in the face and respond the way I did, then I accomplished something."
Information on a possible attorney for Emanuele wasn't immediately available. Police say she recently moved to Bayonne from Tennessee.