A New Jersey middle school vice principal was caught on camera tossing his beer at a group of restaurant-goers who had filmed his wife ranting about a transgender woman using the women’s bathroom.
The hate-filled clip shows Michael Smurro, vice principal of Neptune Middle School, arguing with patrons on Saturday at Ethel’s Lantern Light Restaurant and Tavern in Smithville, where his wife, Lisa, took issue with a person she said was a transgender female in the women’s restroom.
“She’s a man, she was in the woman’s bathroom,” Lisa Smurro is captured in the footage telling an employee. “She’s a man.”
A woman sitting outside then asks Smurro to take her “hate” elsewhere, claiming she was being inappropriate in front of other customers, including children.
“She’s a man,” Lisa Smurro continues while holding a beer in her right hand. “How are you OK with this? What is wrong with everybody?”
Soon after, Michael Smurro, clad in a Superman T-shirt and a blue hat, approaches the table and tosses his beer in disgust at the woman, who was filming the couple.
“Here you go, pal,” Smurro snarls as he launches his brew. “There you go. There you go.”
Smurro then takes a few steps backward before challenging a man at the table with the woman, the clips shows.
“Now you can come out, now you can come out, come on,” Smurro says. “That’s what I thought, as soon we went there, you’d be zero. That’s what I thought. I’m right here.”
After the incident, another patron at the bar accused Smurro of assault and urged people to call cops.
However, a manager later came out and said police did not need to be summoned, according to BreakingAC.com, which first reported the incident.
“She literally just started going off, loud as hell, without cause,” the woman who filmed the transphobic rant told the website of Smurro’s wife.
Some of the tossed beer hit her boyfriend seated next to her, while some splashed onto a table where a child was sitting, said the woman, who identified herself only as Carrie.
“It was overall a completely disgusting experience,” Carrie recalled. “[Michael Smurro] assaulted a table with a child at it. He should not be working with children. His wife should especially be far, far away from children.”
Lisa Smurro, meanwhile, insisted to the outlet she and her husband were having a private conversation when Carrie began filming them, according to the report.
“This all began because somebody was in a bathroom that they shouldn’t have been in,” Lisa Smurro told BreakingAC.com. “He, she, whatever it was that day, it came into the women’s bathroom that they shouldn’t have.”
The incident is being investigated by the Neptune Township School District, district officials said in a statement.
“This event is troubling as its perception potentially threatens the social-emotional well-being and climate of belonging that our Neptune School District community represents,” Superintendent Dr. Tami Crader said.
Administrators are “taking this matter seriously,” Crader said, while noting that the actions shown in the clip do not represent its commitment to inclusivity and non-violence.
Crader added she could not share details of the district’s personnel matters but promised to respond in a manner “fitting and relative” to the seriousness of the incident.
Michael Smurro has since apologized for tossing his beer after his wife’s hateful rant, saying he let his “emotions” get in the way of his “normally sound” judgment.
“I do not condone violence or discrimination of any kind and should have simply walked away,” the middle school vice principal told the Associated Press in an email Tuesday.
“I apologize to the person I threw my beer at and wish I hadn’t done so. I apologize to anyone I offended.”