Esmeralda Upton has been charged with physically and verbally assaulting four Indian American women in Plano, Texas. (Photo courtesy of Plano, Texas Police Department)

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A 58-year-old realtor who was arrested Aug. 25 for allegedly physically and verbally assaulting four Indian American women in Plano, Texas, has been released on $10,000 bail.

Esmeralda ‘Esmi’ Upton has been charged with one count of Assault Bodily Injury and one count of terroristic threats. Both are misdemeanor offenses. Additional charges may be added, according to police.

In the Aug. 24 evening attack, which was captured on video, Upton can be seen hurling a volley of racial epithets at Rani Banerjee, Sabori Saha, Anamika Chatterjee and Bidisha Rudra, who were in the parking lot of a restaurant, saying goodbye as they headed to their cars.

Terrifying Attack

“I hate you fucking Indians. Go back to India. You curry-assed people are ruining this country,” yelled Upton. At one point, the suspect began repeatedly punching Banerjee. She then started rifling through her purse and yelled: “I swear to God, I’m going to shoot your fucking ass.”

“I have never been so terrified in my life,” Banerjee, an engineer, told India Currents. “I have lived in the Dallas Fort Worth area for 29 years and nothing like this has ever happened to me before.”

Hate Crime Charges

Banerjee said she did not have to go to the hospital. But a day after the attack, she still bears physical and emotional scars. “Even now, I feel terrified, shaken,” she said.

Officer Andrae Smith of the Plano, Texas Police Department told India Currents that the case is under active investigation. Hate crime charges may be added when the case is presented to the Colin County District Attorney’s office. Under Texas’ Hate Crimes Act statute, the incident does fit the definition of a hate crime, since hate speech was uttered during the commission of a certain protected event: in this case, assault, explained Smith.

No Gun Involved

Upton bonded out, so she has not been arraigned and has not entered a plea, said Smith. She will enter a plea at a later date which has not yet been determined, he noted.

At no point during the attack did Upton produce a gun, said the police officer.

The Plano, Texas police have been criticized for not immediately arresting Upton at the scene of the crime. But Smith said that — had officers arrested her that evening — Upton would have got off “scott free” without being charged.

If officers arrive after an incident has taken place, they are required to get a probable cause affidavit signed by a judge. Upton was arrested the following afternoon, after officers procured the affidavit.

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Sunita Sohrabji

Sunita Sohrabji is the Managing Editor of India Currents. She is also the Health Editor at Ethnic Media Services.