San Diego

$100K in Briefcase: Starbucks Barista Who Refused Service to Maskless Woman Receives Tips

The account was started by a complete stranger who delivered the cash in a briefcase to Starbucks barista Lenin Gutierrez in San Diego

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The Starbucks barista shamed on social media for refusing service to a customer who was not wearing a mask just received the tip of a lifetime.

Lenin Gutierrez' story started at a San Diego Starbucks, and after it was first shared by NBC 7 it spread throughout country. A couple of fundraising strangers recorded the moment they officially made that barista $100,000 richer.

The barista received the tips from a GoFundMe page after he refused a woman service at a Starbucks for not wearing a mask.

Will Collette and Matt Cowan documented their trip to the bank to withdraw the large sum of money and the trip to San Diego to present it to Gutierrez, the Starbucks barista now on the receiving end of one very large GofundMe account.

“Couple weeks ago a Karen came in, yelled at him. Refused to wear a mask. It kind of went viral and we made a GoFundMe,” said Cowan in a YouTube video.

People from all over the world donated tips to Gutierrez after the woman, Amber Gilles, posted a photo of him on social media when he refused her service.

“She took a photo of me and said I’m calling corporate and started cussing some more at everyone and then just left,” said Gutierrez in a video posted shortly after the incident.

Cowan and his friend had met Gutierrez and his family at a park.

“This is for you to open,” said Cowan as he handed over a large GoFundMe check and a briefcase stacked with cash.

“Oh my God! Ha, that’s $100,000! Oh wow," said Gutierrez.

An online fundraiser collecting "tips" for a San Diego Starbucks barista who denied service to a customer after she refused to wear a face mask has amassed over $100,000 in donations from supporters who believe the barista did the right thing, reports NBC 7's Artie Ojeda.

Previously, Gilles told NBC 7 she wanted some of the money for her part in the post and is thinking of suing the fundraiser creator for defamation and slander.

“I never threatened him. I just called him out on his actions. I never threatened him and I’ve received death threats, thousands. It’s very upsetting. It’s very scary,” said Gilles.

In the end, Gutierrez stood his ground and people rewarded him for it.

“Thank you so much. This is so mind-blowing right now. I’ve never seen anything like this, except in the movies. This is insane,” said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez said he plans to use the money towards pursuing dance.

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