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Video shows ‘transphobic rant,’ beer throwing at Smithville restaurant

A Galloway Township woman is looking for internet justice after recording a woman’s “transphobic rant” at a Smithville restaurant that ended with the offender’s husband throwing his beer on several people.
Three videos posted on Facebook show the events at Fred & Ethel’s Lantern Light Restaurant and Tavern on Saturday, beginning with the woman talking about someone using the women’s restroom who she claims is a man.
The woman later told BreakingAC the manager took responsibility because there are bathrooms designated “for people like that.”
“It’s not OK,” the woman says several times as the video beings, talking to a diner at another table. “She’s a man using my bathroom.”
She then says how your either born male or female.
“She literally just started going off, loud as hell, without cause,” said the woman who shot the videos, asking that she only be identified by her first name, Carrie, for safety reasons.
A photo taken at the Renaissance Faire for The Press of Atlantic City identify the woman with her husband as Lisa and Michael Smurro (see below).
Carrie’s waitress then tells Smurro, who is by then outside the ropes of the outdoor dining area, that she needs to leave.
“There was a man pissing in the women’s bathroom,” Smurro then tells the waitress. “She’s a man. She’s a man.”
The waitress then asks Smurro if she should call her manager.
Carrie, who told BreakingAC she was most worried about a young child nearby witnessing the incident, then tells Smurro to “take your hatred elsewhere please.”
When the waitress leaves to get a manager, Smurro focuses back on Carrie and her boyfriend: “She’s a man. How are you OK with that?”
At that point, Michael Smurro then walks back to where his wife is, and tosses his beer toward Carrie’s boyfriend.
“Here you go, pal,” he says. “There you go. There you go.”
Then, as Smurro backs up he repeats, “Now you can come out” several times, motioning with both hands toward himself.
Some of the beer hit Carrie’s boyfriend, with most falling on the table that had the child, she said.
The manager came later, saying police did not need to be called.
Michael Smurro is a vice principal at Neptune Middle School in Neptune Township. The district’s superintendent, Tami Crader, told NJ.com that she had just learned of the incident and it is under investigation.
Police Chief Donna Higbee said that the incident definitely would have been something her officers would respond to. She confirmed no call was made.
Owner Tony Coppola told BreakingAC that he did reach out to the sergeant on duty and they had been trying to track down those who were victims in the incident. But that Carrie said she would not talk to police, which she confirmed.
The restaurant’s owner called it an “unfortunate, ugly incident.”
“We’re going to cooperate with police in any way,” he said. “We don’t condone that type of activity.”
Higbee reached out to the owner Monday and said she was told his team tried to reach out ot the parties involved.
“We always encourage the public to call if there’s an issue,” Higbee said she told him.
She also advised people should call police before something escalates.
Carrie said Fred & Ethel’s did call later to apologize, after she posted the videos.
She said she would not ever talk to police but she believes the manager’s reaction is why the other table didn’t make the call.
Carrie said the manager only went to the other table, and that her table only had the meal “covered in COVID-thrown beer” removed after they were seen not eating it.
“It was overall a completely disgusting experience,” she said.
With the pair identified as both possibly working for a school district, Carrie said she will notify the state.
“He assaulted a table with a child at it,” she said. “He should not be working with children. His wife should especially be far, far, far away from children.”
Lisa Smurro told BreakingAC that the manager called her to take the blame, saying “they have bathrooms for people like that.”
“They shouldn’t have had a man go in that bathroom,” Smurro said.
But Coppola said that, while there are separate bathrooms that can be used by families or for privacy, there it nothing designated to separate those who are transgender.
“Everyone’s welcome in our restaurant,” he said. “Hate’s got no place in our society. There’s too much hate right now.”
Smurro backed up her comments on the video Monday, saying she went into the bathroom and that the person “was clearly a man” and that she then saw when the person went into the stall that “their feet were facing the totally wrong direction,” saying if the person wanted to fit in, they should have sat down.
Smurro apologized for her husband throwing the beer, saying he was upset that she was being videoed and kept asking them to stop.
“We didn’t bother anyone,” Smurro said of being videoed having a “private conversation.”
“This all began because somebody was in a bathroom that they shouldn’t have been in,” she said. “He, she, whatever it was that day, it came into the women’s bathroom that they shouldn’t have.”

A photo by The Press of Atlantic City identifies the couple.

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