Did gay NJ server concoct denied tip story?
A television news report sheds doubt on a gay New Jersey restaurant server’s claim that a customer denied her a tip because of her ‘lifestyle’ by producing a receipt that indicates otherwise.
NBC 4 out of New York reports that it has an original receipt and credit card statement produced by family members who ate at the restaurant that night and insist they did leave a tip and did not scrawl on their receipt: “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle.”
The story gained national attention after Dayna Morales, a former Marine and employee at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, Somerset County, N.J., sent an image of a receipt with the writing to the organization Have A Gay Day, which posted it on the group's Facebook page.
"Tips" then poured in from across the country, and Morales told CNN that she received more than $2,000.
But NBC 4 said it contacted a family who said the server showed, what appeared to be in their eyes, an altered copy of their original receipt. The family members said they are not anti-gay, and, in fact, voted against Chris Christie for his stand on same-sex marriage.
The husband and wife, who asked to remain anonymous, have a receipt printed at the same minute, on the same date, for the same $93.55 total - but with an $18 tip. The couple also produced a Visa bill confirming they were charged a total of $111.55 by the restaurant and believe their original receipt was doctored.
Said the wife: “We would never leave a note like that."
The woman told the television station the check had been "doctored up" and the couple was tolerant.
"I think there's enough hate and intolerance in the world that to create it when it wasn't there is shameful and dishonorable," she said.
Morales, however, is sticking to her story.
The server told NBC 4 that she didn't forge the hateful note.
"That's not my handwriting," she said. "I don't know."
Morales has said she was stunned by the incident.
In her message to Have A Gay Day, which the organization posted on Facebook, Morales said: "NEVER in a million years did I think this would happen."
The restaurant says it is looking into the incident.
Shortly after the image of the receipt surfaced, general manager Byron Lapola wrote a message of support for Morales on Gallop Asian Bistro's Facebook page, according to news reports.
That post was no longer visible on the page this morning.