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Viral video still brings threats to Scottsdale gallery owner

Three years after a racist viral video, an innocent Scottsdale business is still getting threats and being vandalized.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — “He missed and hit the door jam,” Kathi Ouellett said, tracing the path of a huge rock that destroyed the front door of her art gallery.

Considering the phone calls she gets, she feels lucky it was only the glass this time. 

The past three years have been a near-constant stream of threats for Ouellett. It all started when her old art gallery had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, glancing blow with a viral video. 

The most recent incident happened over the weekend.

Sunday morning, Ouelett said she got a notice that her alarm was going off. 

The front door of her business had been destroyed.

There’s a chunk of wood taken out of the frame, marks where the rock bounced, and jagged, broken glass all around the outside of the door. 

“I’m constantly on guard,” Ouelette said. “Our cars are parked on the street, you know our business is here. This is our livelihood.”

In 2020, at the height of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, a Scottsdale real estate agent named Paul Ng was caught on camera confronting a Black YouTuber on the street. 

“I’m a racist,” Ng said on camera. 

“This is a no n***** zone,” he told the YouTuber. 

The video quickly took off and was shared around the world. Ng lost his job as a real estate agent and was even arrested. 

MORE DETAILS: Scottsdale man arrested, loses job over racist rant caught on camera

In the background of the video was Ouellett’s former gallery, River Trading Post. 

That was all it took for the business to become a target.

The phone calls came every few minutes. There were threatening voicemails and emails. All because people assumed Ng worked at or owned the business that appeared in the background. 

He lived above the business but had no other involvement with it at all. 

In the three years since that video, Ouellett said the threats come and gone, but never completely stopped.

Each time the video is shared again a new round of phone calls and threats start for Ouellett.

River Trading Post is now closed. Ouelett moved her business and changed the name but the threats continue to follow her.

Ouellett let 12News listen to the latest voicemail on Monday. 

“Do you think by changing the name of your business and moving that nobody’s gonna know that you were the one with a racist dude who was working in front?” it said. 

“I’m about to make your store go viral and let them know it’s the same establishment,” the caller said. “Good luck!”

For Ouellett it seems like a hopeless situation.

“You know, I feel like I could move out of state and it would still follow me,” Ouellett said. 

She said she called Scottsdale police about the broken glass but has given up on notifying them about every threatening phone call she receives.

Ouellett said the callers block their numbers and there are too many of them. 

A Scottsdale police spokesman said they are investigating the broken glass door, but have no suspects and no motive. 

Ouellett is sure it’s related to her unfounded and unwarranted viral fame. 

“It’s just ridiculous,” she said. 

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