Attorney: Red Lobster customer denies writing slur on receipt
Statement from customer Devin Barnes
Devin Barnes (Source: Facebook)
FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -
There's a new chapter in the case of a disturbing message written on a restaurant receipt, as the attorney for the customer in question has a very different story to tell.
Toni Jenkins, a waitress at Red Lobster in Franklin, says she returned to collect the receipt from a table only to find the ugly message instead. In the tip line, was the word "none," and in the total, the N-word.
Now, that customer and his attorney deny he had anything to do with it and say someone else could be to blame.
"Whoever put that on that receipt was very wrong," said attorney Richard Dugger.
Devin Barnes keeps receiving threats over this, even though he maintains his innocence.
"He's just not that type of individual. He doesn't speak that way," Dugger said. "He is really tore up about it."
Barnes and his wife visited Red Lobster in Franklin on Saturday. Hours later, his ticket, including his name, part of his card number and his signature, wound up online, along with a racial slur.
"My only desire is just to stand up for what's right," Jenkins said.
Jenkins, who served Barnes and his wife Saturday, posted the picture of the receipt to Facebook, and the story soon attracted international attention.
"It was like my heart kind of sank, and I was like, 'Wow.' I'm going through my mind. I'm like, 'Was my service awful? Did I do something?' I've never had to deal with that before," Jenkins said.
Dugger provided Channel 4 News with a statement he says Barnes wrote by hand.
In the note, Barnes admitted he wrote "none" in the tip line and signed the bill, but left the total line blank.
As for the N-word, Barnes denies writing it.
"I do not approve of the use of that type of talk, not now or ever," the note says.
"He doesn't like trouble. He does not like drama, confusion, you know," Dugger said. "Whoever put that on that receipt was very wrong. Just as putting that receipt on the world wide Internet was wrong. Two wrongs never make a right."
And that remains part of the problem for Barnes and his attorney.
The waitress will be back at work this week. In posting the picture of the ticket online, she violated Red Lobster policy.
A company spokesman told Channel 4 News it has completed its investigation but won't discuss the findings or whether it disciplined the server.
Dugger said he hopes to soon hire a handwriting expert to analyze the ticket, the slur and his client's handwriting.
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