PORTLAND, Ore. – An Oregon waitress lifted a credit card receipt from a bill and found an envelope with a question mark. She peeked inside, quietly walked to her manager and asked him to call police.
Inside the envelope was 17 grams of methamphetamine, police said. And the customers who left it Friday were still sitting at her table at the Twisted Fish restaurant in Seaside.
“She reported it as a tip (to) officers who responded,” said Seaside Police Chief Bob Gross. “That’s what she apparently believed it was.”
Police arrested Ryan L. Bensen, 40, and Erica A. Manley, 37, but later released Bensen without filing any charges.
Manley faces charges of delivery of a controlled substance. Kristopher Kaino, her attorney, did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press.
The waitress, who has not been identified, has taken a leave of absence, restaurant manager Steve Keszler said.
Police said they found more meth while searching Manley’s purse and the couple’s motel room and car, though they didn’t specify how much.
Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis isn’t so sure the methamphetamine in the envelope was left intentionally at the restaurant.
“I don’t think it is clear whether it’s a tip or not,” Marquis said. “They left it behind, whether it was an accident or joke or serious.
“We’ll probably find out in grand jury next week.”
Restaurant tips have made news lately, both for what they contain and what they leave out.
A New Jersey waitress and former U.S. Marine raised $3,000 online last year after she claimed a family left her a homophobic note instead of a tip. The story was debunked when the family produced the original receipt, including the tip.
In Moorhead, Minn., police told waitress Stacy Knutson that she couldn’t keep a $12,000 tip left by a customer at the Fryn’ Pan restaurant because the money smelled like marijuana and could be tied to a drug investigation. They relented in 2012 and wrote her a check for the amount seized.