WCCB Exclusive: Women Harassed by “SouthPark Susan” Speak Out
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Relieved but still concerned. That’s how sisters Leisa and Mary Garris tell WCCB they felt after hearing Susan Westwood turned herself in. Mary says, “Also concerned for her, as well as her well being.” WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty asked, “You were concerned for her? What were you worried about for her?” Mary replied, “It is never our goal to bring harm to anyone.”
The women tell WCCB they knew it would be Westwood’s word against theirs, the night of October 19th, in a south Charlotte apartment complex parking lot, so they started recording her racist rant. Westwood could be seen repeatedly asking why the women were there, telling them she was “white” and “hot,” and asking them if their “baby daddy” lived at the complex. At one point, Westwood says, “Want me to bring out my concealed weapon, too? This is North Carolina by the way.”
Westwood also called 911, offering to pay thousands of dollars to have the women removed from the property, and demanding officers come to the scene immediately.
She has been served with four criminal summons for assault and communicating threats and charged with misuse of 911. She turned herself into the Sunset Beach Police over the weekend. She’s now out on $500 bond.
Leisa says, “I actually don’t feel comfortable at all. Because I’m having to look over my, you know, watch my back.”
It’s been an uncomfortable process made more difficult, in part, the sisters say, by one of the CMPD officers who responded that night. “The one officer just indicated that, you know, maybe she just probably needs to go in(side) and sleep it off,” says Mary. Letting Westwood “sleep it off,” after what she said, and after threatening them with a gun, was not an option for the Garris sisters. The women pushed forward, and not just for themselves. Mary says, “I just felt like something needed to be done, because if it wasn’t us, it was gonna be someone else.”
Westwood is in the process of being evicted from her apartment. She was fired from her job. And she has a court date. Many people have said they’re surprised something like this happened in south Charlotte. Fogarty asked the sisters, “What would you say to that sort of response?” Mary replied, “Open your eyes. It’s definitely happening. We’re not the first and we probably won’t be the last.”
Leisa tells WCCB she’d like to move. And Mary wants to thank her colleagues at Atrium Health for their support. Also, there was a possible witness in the parking lot that night. The women say that person has not been named, and has not yet come forward.