Restaurant Checking Receipts in Tip Hoax Probe
The manager of Gallop Asian Bistro restaurant in Bridgewater says the establishment is examining credit card records to evaluate allegations that server Dayna Morales’ story of receiving an anti-gay message in lieu of a tip was a hoax. Her future there now appears uncertain.
Byron Lapola, manager of the Gallop Asian Bistro, told NJ.com: “The owners are doing their investigation and looking into the Visa batch credit card accounts.”
Lapola said it will be up to the owners of the restaurant whether she stays employed. He said she did not work Tuesday night.
Morales, 22, gained national attention when she posted a receipt with the handwritten message, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life” in the tip line of their $93.55 bill. A PayPal account set up to send her a “tip” received nearly $3,000 in donations that Morales, a former U.S. Marine, said she would donate to the Wounded War Project.
Former co-workers at a day care center in Stony Point, New York tell USA Today she claimed a boat from Superstorm Sandy wound up in her living room and caused damage. A visit to her home, however, showed only minor damage to the carpet and no boat. “Every story she comes up with has a lie,” Julie Howat, 23, told the newspaper.
Others say she said she shaved her head because she had brain cancer. later changing her story to a “friend” being afflicted. “Any tragedy that happened, she had to be a part of it,” Howat said. “She needed sympathy and empathy.”
NBC 4 New York on Wednesday night reported that Morales was dismissed from the Marine Reserve Corp in May because she stopped attending drills while stationed in Newburgh, New York.
Family Comes Forward
Customer copy of receipt (L) and copy with message posted by Dana Morales (Townsquare Media NJ)
Members of the restaurant customer’s family, who wish to remain anonymous, provided a copy of the receipt showing an $18 tip for a total of $111.55 charged to their credit card statement, a copy of which was also provided. New Jersey 101.5 and other media organizations have also received the documents.
NJ.com is reporting that Wounded Warriors could not confirm that Morales had made a donation to fund.
The tide of posts on social media sites, which had been overwhelmingly sympathetic to Morales and the restaurant’s support of her, has taken a sharp turn, with hundreds of messages calling for her to be fired.