Police Arrest Woman Involved in Racist Incident at Norwich Starbucks

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Police arrested a woman on Monday after investigating a racist incident at a Starbucks in Norwich last week.

A confrontation between two women in a Norwich Starbucks drive-thru ended in a racist incident Tuesday morning.

Holly Chalifoux, 22, of Moosup, was arrested after police received a walk-in complaint from Marcela Lee. She claimed that she was intimidated based on her heritage, according to police.

Chalifoux voluntarily signed a sworn statement following police investigation. Police said Chalifoux admitted to verbally threatening and shouting racial slurs at the woman.

Lee, a black woman who was buying her breakfast at Starbucks, said that a white woman behind her in line started revving her engine and yelling at Lee that she was late for work. What happens next was captured on a Facebook Live video recorded by Lee.

"When she started screaming at me out of her window that is when I was like, you know, I don’t know how ugly this is going to get so I kind of want this to be recorded just in case anything goes wrong," said Lee. "Honestly I am really, really glad that I did."

Later in the video you can hear the woman yell profanities and a racial slur at Lee.

"She proceeded to call me a stupid, ugly dumb, n-word and then sped off," said Lee.

Norwich Police learned about the video and asked Lee to file a complaint.

"It is not tolerated in Norwich," said Chief Daley. "We are better than this."

Lee said that the incident filled her with sadness and rage, however since then she has learned that the Starbucks employees who were working that day, who showed her kindness during the incident, have been helping police with the ongoing investigation.

"We thank them for doing the right thing," said Lee. "There was such a great opportunity here for them to turn a blind eye and say I don't want to be involved."

Chalifoux faces charges including third degree bias and intimidation based of bigotry.

Chalifoux was released on a $25,000.00 non-surety bond.

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