A New Jersey waitress who claimed that a family left her an anti-gay message instead of a tip was faking the whole thing, according to the accused family.
Dayna Morales, a lesbian former Marine who works at Gallop Asian Bistro in Branchburg, said that she was given no tip on a $93.55 dinner bill for a family of four — a husband, wife and their two children.
To make matters worse, Morales claimed that she received a homophobic message that read “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle.”
“I am THOROUGHLY offended mad pissed off and hurt that THIS is what her kids will grow up learning and that I served in the Marines to keep ignorant people like them free,” wrote Morales in an email to Have a Gay Day, a gay advocacy non-profit.
“Keep your damn mouth shut and pray we never cross paths again,” continued Morales.
But the accused family claims that Morales is lying. They contacted NBC 4 New York on their own accord and provided documents to prove that they left Morales a generous tip, minus the nasty message.
The couple, who wanted to remain anonymous, provided NBC 4 New York a copy of their Visa bill as well as their copy of the restaurant receipt to show that they left an $18 tip on the $93.55 tab — or just shy of 20 percent.
As further proof, the time stamp on the receipt provided by the couple also matches that of the one Morales posted on Facebook. The wife also noted that she is left-handed and that the slash mark on the tip line seems to have been written by someone who is right-handed.
The husband told NBC 4 New York that both he and his wife had worked in restaurants in the past. The man also said that he did not support New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie because of his opposition to gay marriage.
According to NBC 4 New York, the situation may have been sparked by miscommunication between the restaurant hostess, the family and Morales. The family told NBC 4 that they believed that the hostess told them that the name of their server was “Dan”. According to the family, when Morales introduced herself the wife said “whoa, you’re not Dan”.
Morales relayed the introduction differently saying that the wife said “oh I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You sure surprised us!”
Despite the family’s claim, Morales stuck to her story telling NBC 4 New York “I don’t know, all I know is what I’ve been saying.”
Morales received over $3,000 in donations after her story went viral. The waitress said she planned to donate the proceeds of the impromptu fundraiser to the Wounded Warrior Project. Her employer also planned to match her donation to Wounded Warrior, which donates money to soldiers who have been injured in combat.
Fabricated hateful receipt messages are nothing new. One of the more famous hoaxes occurred last year when it was reported that a California businessman left a 1 percent tip on a $133 tab for a waitress with the message “Get a real job”. The message alluded to the Occupy Wall Street movement’s focus on wealthy “one-percenters” versus “the 99%”. However, the receipt turned out to be photoshopped.
And last month, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that two forensics handwriting experts determined that an African-American Red Lobster waitress likely wrote a racist message on her own receipt in order to frame a white customer. The waitress, Toni Jenkins, said that a patron wrote the word “none” on the tip line and the word “Nigger” on the total line. In that case, the name of the patron was visible on the receipt, which Jenkins posted on Facebook. The patron denied writing the pejorative and said he planned to file a lawsuit. Like Morales, an online fundraising effort helped Jenkins raise nearly $11,000.
On Monday, Have a Gay Day acknowledged the possibility that Morales was lying about the message: “After watching the story shared with us we do have questions that hopefully we will find the answers to in the upcoming days ahead,” read a post on the group’s Facebook page.
“We share this link with you as it was shared with us and only hope that the allegations are not true.”