William F. Powell, a 27-year-old waiter at the IHOP in Downtown Brooklyn, was arrested recently for allegedly giving out about $3,000 in free beverages to customers over a seven-month period. He faces charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, and petit larceny, for the crime of being a cool waiter.
“I am the modern day Robin Hood, I am not stealing, I am serving the ones in need, I take from the rich and give to the poor,” Powell allegedly told investigators, according to the criminal complaint against him, as noted by DNAinfo.
He added, “What’s the big deal? I’ve been doing this since I started here.” Probably not a great idea when you’re being accused of a crime, but OK.
Maybe William F. Powell is a little overly gregarious. A lot of the best waiters are! Maybe he’s a little overly friendly with the pour when he’s serving an IHOP Splashers® Tropical Island Twist. A lot of the best waiters are heavy handed in the same way!
IHOP does not serve alcohol. I called the Downtown Brooklyn location and asked, just to be sure. That means Powell may be branded as a felon—and possibly face jail time, not to mention the litany of collateral hardships convicted felons endure after serving their sentences—not for stealing expensive, precious booze, but for being a little overly friendly with the O.J.
According to website Food Menu Guru, an IHOP Splashers® Tropical Island Twist costs $2.29. (I can’t 100% vouch for the accuracy of this information, but he’s a Guru, so I trust him.) If the $3,000 figure is correct, Powell gave out the equivalent of 1,441 IHOP Splashers® Tropical Island Twists between August of 2015 and February of this year. If Powell worked five days a week during that period, he gave out 10 IHOP Splashers® Tropical Island Twists on every shift.
OK, that’s...kind of a lot of IHOP Splashers® Tropical Island Twists! But still—just fire the guy. Blacklist him from working at any of the fine dineEquity, Inc. restaurants for the rest of his life, if you want. (That includes Applebee’s, William. We’re watching you.) But don’t charge him with a felony. For god’s sake, don’t put the poor guy in jail.
Free William F. Powell. For the good of casual family dining establishments everywhere. For the good of America.
Contact IHOP here to tell them how you feel about this injustice.