The Chili Finger Lady strikes again, this time lying to cover up evidence in a shooting. When Santa Clara County police found her son in front of the house with a gunshot wound to the ankle, she cooked up a detailed story describing two shooters.
Eric Kurhi for the Mercury News reported that convicted scammer Anna Ayala may have tried to ‘finger’ two actual residents of the area. When her son Guadalupe Reyes, 26, claimed that two men walked up and shot him for no reason, she came forward with a complete description of the alleged attackers.
One shooter supposedly “looked like someone known on the streets as ‘Cruz’ — a big man with a goatee and abnormally large ears who rolled up on a black bicycle,” Kurhi said. Although detectives quickly tracked down the accused, they found the story hard to swallow – considering Ayala’s notoriety as a convicted hoaxer.
Reyes is a convicted burglar and isn’t allowed to possess a firearm. According to Chris Roberts and Damian Trujillo, reporting for NBC Bay Area, investigators separated mother and son for more intense questioning. It became obvious that the stories didn’t line up when Reyes now spun a nonsensical tale about chasing a dog. Ayala finally realized that it was time to admit that she didn’t know what actually happened.
The so-called Chili Finger Lady shot to worldwide infamy in 2005 when her husband bought a co-worker’s severed finger. She pretended to chow down on the grisly – and only partly cooked — purchase in a San Jose Wendy’s restaurant. NBC Bay Area said that the resulting bad publicity cost Wendy’s an estimated $21 million – and it cost Ayala four years in jail.
“I cooked it,” she confessed.
Both appeared in court Friday, where Reyes was charged with illegal possession of a firearm. Robert Salonga for the Mercury Newsnoted that the notorious Chili Finger Lady tried to cover her face from cameras during her hearing. Like her son, she was charged with filing a false police report.
Judge Philip Pennypacker, disgusted by their past criminal episodes, set the bail at $150,000 apiece. The high bond probably guarantees that the Chili Finger Lady won’t be back on the streets before her next hearing on March 1.