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‘Go back to China’: Sawtelle woman caught in racist rant over unleashed dog

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A dispute between two women over an unleashed dog on the Westside of Los Angeles took on racist tones when the woman whose dog was off leash told her Asian neighbor to “go back to China,” according to a TikTok video that has already generated more than 6 million views.

The white woman with the unleashed dog, Denise Olin, was caught in the video hurling racially charged remarks during the Feb. 24 fight with her neighbor after the other woman, who was walking a leashed dog, asked Olin to put her dog on a leash. Los Angeles laws require dogs to be on a leash on public property and common areas of private property.

Olin has since told The Times she regrets her comments.

The two women, who appear to have a history of conflict, began recording each other during the encounter.

“Let me educate you,” says the woman recording the video, who is identified through her TikTok account only as Cindy.

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“Let me educate you, go back to China,” says Olin, who is also recording the incident on her phone.

“I don’t want your dog to get hurt,” Cindy says.

When Cindy calls Olin a “Karen,” Olin responds, “You’re an Asian Karen.”

At another point in the interaction, Olin repeatedly asks Cindy if she understands English.

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Olin claims in the video that Cindy once referred to her as a “bitch” and that the woman is the “most hated woman on our block.” She also said the woman told Olin to go back to her country. Olin is Irish.

Cindy denies the claim and says Olin fabricated the story.

“Everybody hates you,” Olin says.

The incident took place on Butler Avenue in the upscale neighborhood of Sawtelle.

Olin apologized for her words Thursday in a text message to The Times and said she has received death threats since the video was published on TikTok on Monday.

“I’m devastated and receiving so many death threats,” Olin texted. “The police are involved. I’m so sorry for what I said. I reacted badly. It was our second altercation and she had said similar stuff to me. I had not filmed it. There was no excuse for what I said. I’m so remorseful. I’m not a racist just stupid.”

Olin shared with The Times a voicemail she had received in which someone said they would have shot her in the face if she had made such comments to them.

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Cindy’s video has 6.8 million views on TikTok. She could not immediately be reached.

“I am Asian, but I am not from China,” Cindy wrote on her TikTok post. “I am an immigrant, but my family and I have been living in America for more than 20 years. This is our home. It deeply hurts me that there are still people out there making such racist remarks.”

The video is reminiscent of a similar incident in New York in 2020 in which a woman called the police on a Black man in Central Park after he asked her to put her dog on a leash.

The woman, Amy Cooper, lost her job in the aftermath of that viral video.

“Over three years later, I am still in hiding. I am scared to be in public,” Cooper wrote in an op-ed late last year.

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