Teresa Klein, the Brooklyn woman who falsely accused an African-American boy of groping her butt, says she let her anger get the best of her when she confronted the child’s mother.
That didn’t stop her from filing a police report against the woman, however.
Klein, 53, has since been dubbed “Cornerstore Caroline” after viral video showed her calling the cops on the young boy after she claimed he “sexually assaulted” her inside the Sahara Deli in Brooklyn last week. Klein apologized Monday after surveillance video from the store showed it was actually the child’s backpack that had brushed against her backside.
“Young man, I don’t know your name but I’m sorry,” she said.
Klein denied harboring any racist sentiment toward the child but said she was still mulling charges against his mother, who she said acted “aggressively” in the situation and flashed a fake police badge before threatening to arrest her.
“We were yelling at each other, she ran into the bodega, flashed a badge in my face, then said, ‘I’m gonna arrest you,'” Klein told Gothamist. “And I said, ‘go ahead, I’m calling 911.” Because something in me registered this wasn’t right. A cop doesn’t flash a badge and then threaten to arrest you. It wasn’t right.”
Klein said she later went to police and filed an “impersonating a police officer” complaint and later filed an aggravated harassment complaint after she claims she received a death threat from a number she says belongs to the child’s mother, according to the news site.
“I have been sexually assaulted many times on the streets of New York,” she added. “I’ve been grabbed everywhere: breasts, crotch, [and] butt many times. I quickly learned that reporting it to the police didn’t do any good. The 911 call and the complaint I filed at the 70th [Precinct] had to do with the mother — not that child. I never, ever would have done that.”
Klein once more acknowledged she was wrong for scaring the child “half to death” and said she offered to meet with the boy’s mother after the fact.
Still, some inconsistencies have arisen about what actually went down that day. In now viral video from the incident, Klein appears to be the one who purports to be a cop. She insists, however, that it was the mother who claimed she was the officer and flashed her “badge” before a bystander started filming.
Security footage from the bodega seems to show the child’s mother flash an object at Klein early in their argument (around the :45 mark). Later in the video, Klein is heard telling the woman “I’m a cop!” but now says she was simply quoting the woman.
When asked if she regrets her handling of the situation, Klein acknowledged she has an anger problem and, looking back, could have reacted differently.
“I would have said ‘don’t touch my ass,’ and when [the mother] talked back I would have ignored her,” she told Gothamist. “I would not haven’t said anything … I should not have yelled. [If] she starts yelling at me, I ignore it, and I just go home.”
Not everyone is buying her apology, however.
“So insincere,” resident James LittleJohn, who’s friends with the boy’s mother and filmed the incident, told the New York Post. “She just did not care.”
Watch more in the clip below.
— Andrew Ramos (@AndrewRamosTV) October 12, 2018