A waitress at a Texas restaurant claimed that an area law enforcement employee scribbled a racial slur against Hispanics on a meal receipt. However, a county sheriff’s immediate investigation revealed the whole thing was a hate hoax. Now, that sheriff is speaking out.
Freestone County Sheriff Jeremy Shipley said he received a complaint on Monday night in which a waitress working at a Waco Japanese restaurant accused an unidentified employee of the Sheriff’s Office of writing “a racist remark on a check against the Hispanic community.”
The alleged “hate” message was posted online. However, it appears to have been removed, although KWTX obtained the image. Some words are scribbled and others are crossed out or redacted. Still, the word “Mexicans” is legible.
Shipley took this complaint very seriously, according to a press release provided to Breitbart Texas by the Sheriff’s Office. “As Sheriff of Freestone County, I wanted to personally make sure I received all the information pertaining to a complaint of this nature on one of my employees and that’s why it was me knocking on doors,” he wrote, emphasizing he “will not tolerate nor employ any person(s) that I know to be of racial mind or intentions.”
The sheriff also stated, “We would rather spread love than hate and that’s exactly what I also expect from my office.”
On Tuesday, he met with the restaurant’s owner described as “very cooperative and willing to assist in any way possible through the investigation.” Shipley also reviewed surveillance video footage, compared the handwriting on the customer’s bill against different sources, and gathered additional information. Then, with assistance from the McGregor Police Department, sat down with the unidentified waitress.
“During the conversation with the waitress, the waitress confessed to writing the racial comment on the ticket herself due to being upset that day,” stated Shipley. “The waitress confirmed that she took the ticket book containing the ticket from the customers at the table, went into the restroom, and hand wrote, herself, on the receipt the racial comment.”
He added: “The waitress advised that she was sorry for what she did and advised that she didn’t know it would create this type of problem.”
Apparently, the post went viral. It remains unclear what triggered her to forge a “racist” remark or attempt to pin the false claim on a sheriff’s office employee. Nonetheless, Shipley was not pleased.
“The character and integrity of this employee and my office has been attacked based on a lie that spread through social media,” he said, noting the stress endured by the accused employee. “Our employee and the immediate family have received numerous hate messages from this fabricated lie.”
The sheriff called the community “great” and was “hopeful” that some of the same people who were “so mean and hateful without fact checking” would apologize “now that the facts of this unfortunate situation” have come to light.
“My employee did not deserve this, nor does my office or any law enforcement agency in this state or across America,” wrote Shipley. “This is a perfect time to remind people that just because it’s on social media doesn’t make it true.”
On Wednesday, the manager of the Fuji Japanese Steak House told Breitbart Texas they fired the waitress. He stated, “We cannot tolerate racism and we will not tolerate falsely accusing someone of being racist.”
He said the restaurant also fired a second server responsible for posting the faked receipt onto Facebook. He stated when management confronted this individual she “refused to take it down.”
The manager was, understandably, upset when speaking to Breitbart Texas as he pointed out the nefarious actions of these two fired employees impacted the restaurant’s business and reputation as well.
The Waco hoax followed an Odessa waiter’s claim that he was stiffed on a tip by a customer who called him a “terrorist” on the restaurant check. Breitbart Texas reported that, too, was a hoax. The waiter admitted he made up the entire story and forged the writing on the receipt. He said he was “sorry” and indicated he would return any money received from sympathetic people who believed his social media post. Reportedly, he was fired from his job.
Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter.