Waitress in anti-gay receipt dispute issuing refunds to donors

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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The New Jersey waitress who received thousands of dollars in donations after claiming to receive an anti-gay message from a patron may be refunding the money.

Dayna Morales, 22, received national attention after she said that a family she was serving at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater wrote a disturbing note on their credit card receipt which read, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle & how you live your life”.

Outraged, Morales sent an email and a picture of the receipt, which showed that the family of four — a husband, wife and their two children — left no tip on a $93.55 tab, to an organization called Have a Gay Day.

Donors flocked to help Morales after her story went viral. Thousands of dollars were sent to a PayPal account that the restaurant had set up on their employees’ behalf. Morales and the restaurant claimed that the money would be given to the Wounded Warrior Project.

A San Francisco woman who did not know Morales received a refund notification from PayPal Friday morning.

“I don’t know Dayna at all,” said Abby Mudd, who contributed $5 to Morales and said she donated the money because she “felt bad for her.”

“I mean, the note was terrible,” said Mudd who provided a copy of the PayPal refund to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Wounded Warrior Project, the organization that Morales said she was planning to donate her windfall to, said Friday it had not received money from her, according to the Bridgewater Patch.

A representative for the Wounded Warrior Project searched records for donations from the zip code where the restaurant was located and from where Morales lives, according to the Bridgewater Patch.

Reached by TheDCNF on Friday, the manager on duty at Gallop Asian Bistro said that the investigation into whether Morales was perpetuating a hoax was still underway.

“We’re still trying to find the truth of what it was,” said the manager. “But the money is going to be donated to Wounded Warriors.”

The manager said that most of the donations have been made in Morales’ name. “It’s not in the restaurant’s name. We’ve been getting mail with ‘attention to Dayna’,” the manager said in a phone interview.

Asked why the investigation is taking so long, the manager said, “Well, there’s two sides to everything, obviously,” adding that “there’s different legalities” between lawyers for the restaurant and lawyers for Morales that are holding up the investigation.

Morales’ story had plenty of holes in it.

First, the family she accused of leaving the bigoted note came forward and provided copies of their credit card bill to a New York NBC news station showing that they indeed left Morales an $18 tip. They vehemently denied writing the note and said that support gay rights.

The accused wife said that she thought Morales may have been angered by a mix-up while the family was being seated. The wife said that she thought that the host who seated them at their table said that their server’s name was “Dan.” Expecting a man, the wife commented to Morales that she was surprised and that this may have caused Morales to think that she was condemning her sexuality. Morales wrote that the wife exclaimed, “I thought you were going to say your name is Dan.”

Friends and former co-workers of Morales’ came forward saying that she had a history of fabricating stories. Those former acquaintances said that Morales claimed she was the sole member of her Marine unit to survive a bombing in Afghanistan. It was later discovered that Morales never saw combat. She was dishonorably discharged from the Marines for failure to show up for drills, according to local media reports.

Morales also claimed to have cancer, though her friends said this was a lie.

Requests for comment sent to Morales and the Wounded Warrior Project by TheDCNF were not answered.

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