top of page

Johnnie’s Beef employees endure racist verbal attack by retired Elmwood Park firefighter who refused to wear mask 

Helen Quinn Pasin | May 2021

On May 13, 2021, Sergio Correra went to Johnnie's Beef in Elmwood Park around 9 p.m. and witnessed a racist attack on the employees by an enraged customer who refused to wear a mask. Correra took out his phone and started recording after the man ripped off a sign that said masks were required inside Johnnie's Beef.

The customer has been identified as Rocco Fanella who worked for the Elmwood Park Fire Department for over 23 years and recently retired in February 2020. 


The video begins with Fanella shouting, “F*ck you, serve me. I’m not leaving. P*ssy Mexican m*ther f*ckers work here.” He aggressively moves toward the counter and leans toward the cashier, “come on you little c*nt.” He threatens to call the police and says he’s not leaving and will raise hell there for the rest of the night.

“I’ve lived in this town my whole life, I’m not leaving.”

Correra posted the video to his Facebook in order to raise awareness about the racism that restaurant workers often face. “All because he refused to put his mask on and place his order. The employees were just doing their job. They never lost their cool even after his racial profiling and disrespect.” Correra concluded his post by writing “America is so divided because of racist and ignorant people like this, with so much hatred in their hearts. I’m so sorry to the employees that had to take this kind of treatment for just doing their job.”

See the video: 

bottom of page