In a news conference Friday afternoon San Jose police investigating how a human finger ended up in a woman’s bowl of Wendy’s chili declared the claim a hoax Friday and arrested her on charges of attempted grand larceny.
The entire story is here (San Jose Mercury News, free registration required):
The arrest of Anna Ayala at her home outside Las Vegas was the latest twist in a case that has become a late-night punch line, taken a bite out of Wendy’s sales and forced the fast-food chain to check its employees for missing fingers.
Ayala, 39, claimed she bit down on the well-manicured, 1 1/2-inch finger in a mouthful of her steamy chili on March 22 in San Jose. She had hired a lawyer and filed a claim against the Wendy’s franchise owner, but dropped the lawsuit threat soon after suspicion fell on her.
When asked whether police considered Ayala’s claim a hoax, David Keneller, captain of the San Jose police department’s investigations bureau, said yes.
“What we have found is that thus far our evidence suggests the truest victims in this case are indeed the Wendy’s owner, operators and employees here in San Jose,” Police Chief Rob Davis said.
At a news conference, police refused to say where the finger originated and exactly how the hoax was carried out.
But according to a person knowledgeable about the case who spoke on condition of anonymity, the attempted larceny charge stemmed from San Jose police interviews with people who said Ayala described putting a finger in the chili. The source said the interviews were with at least two people who did not know each other and independently told similar stories.
The source added that investigators still did not know where the finger came from.
Ayala – who has a history of bringing claims against big corporations – has denied placing the finger in the chili……
Read the rest here.
Well Wendy’s is relieved…. after losing tons of money:
….The furor caused sales at Wendy’s to drop, forcing layoffs and reduced hours in Northern California. Joseph Desmond, owner of the local Wendy’s franchise, called the ordeal a nightmare.
“It’s been 31 days, and believe me it’s been really tough,” he said. “My thanks also go out to all the little people who were hurt in our stores. They lost a lot of wages because we had to cut back because our business has been down so badly……..”
Flap is positive the D.A. will make an example of this woman!