Annetta Williams walked into the North Studio Nail Salon on Friday for a pedicure, fill and polish.
- Buffalo woman says nail salon owner denied her service because she's black
- Salon owner's attorney says witnesses have a different account
- Facebook posts about the situation have received hundreds of shares
She says a woman started taking down her information when the owner, Darius Huynh, interjected.
"And he said, ‘no, we can't take care of your kind today,’" Williams said.
Williams said she asked several follow-up questions to clarify when she finally asked, "Are you saying you're not taking care of black people?”
She says Huynh replied, “I'm not taking care of you people."
Williams posted a Facebook Live video that afternoon, telling her story and encouraging people to take their business elsewhere.
Huynh's attorney, Steve Long, says Williams' account is inaccurate.
"We had four witnesses there that let's just say have a diametrically different recollection of what occurred when the individual came through and said, ‘can I have my nails done?’" Long said.
Long says Huynh simply told her he didn't have time to take care of her because they were booked that day, and that he had to repeat himself because of his accent and he was wearing a mask.
He says Huynh didn't even realize there was an issue until he started getting threatening phone calls.
“Somebody said, ‘I'm gonna come down and shut down your shop in three minutes,’" Long said.
Huynh filed a report with Buffalo Police, and Long says officers had to come by the business on three occasions over the weekend, and now Huynh and his family are scared for their safety.
"Part of this could be a hoax, part of it could just be to scare him, but it's certainly unnecessary. If someone's gonna complain, bring it up, but you don't have to threaten the person or their family, whoever it is," Long said.
Huynh moved to Buffalo from Vietnam in 1992, and has operated his shop on Hertel Avenue since 2008.
Long says Huynh has never had a complaint of this nature before, and that he has several regular customers who are black.
Williams says she did not misunderstand what Huynh said, and it would be difficult to forgive him.
“Friday, I took what he said to me from his heart, and once that's in your heart, the only one that can remove that from you is God, so it would be hard for me to sit across from him and see why he said that.”
Williams' video has been shared more than 300 times and a second post about the nail salon has been shared more than 600 times.
Long says he is still collecting facts at this point, but will protect Huynh to the degree that's necessary.
"There's now been severe damage done to him and his business," Long said.
Williams, meanwhile, says several people have reached out to her since her video, describing similar incidents at local nail and hair salons.
She will host a forum at the Utica Business Center at 11 East Utica Street Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to discuss race relations, and positive, productive solutions.