Minnesota Waitress Sues Police And Reclaims $12,000 Tip

Stacy Knutson, a waitress and mother of five, was hoping for what she called a “miracle” when the answer to her financial woes manifested itself in a very peculiar fashion as an unknown Fryn’ Pan customer left her a $12,000 tip.

Initially, Knutson had discovered that a woman had left behind a to-go box from a different restaurant. Deciding to return the woman’s possessions, she followed the woman to her vehicle outside of the restaurant and attempted to hand her the to-go box when the woman allegedly replied:

“No I am good, you keep it.”

Inside of the to-go box, Knutson discovered bundles of cash which were wrapped in rubber-bands. Wads of cash wrapped in rubber bands is sometimes perceived by law enforcement as an indicator of funds which have been accrued from illicit activity such as dealing drugs. Not sure whether or not she should keep the money, Knutson then decided to call the Moorhead Police in order to report the $12,000 tip. She said in the lawsuit filed:

“Even though I desperately needed the money as my husband and I have five children, I feel I did the right thing by calling the Moorhead Police.”

The lawsuit states that after informing the local authorities, Knutson was told by the Police that they were holding the money as turned out to be “drug money” and she would receive compensation in the form of a $1,000 reward.

Police claimed that the money was sniffed by a police dog which indicated that the cash smelled of cannabis which indicated that it had come in contact with marijuana at some point. They then argued that a law allowed for the money to be forfeited as it was in the proximity of a controlled substance.

Co-workers of Knutson claimed that they did not smell the distinct odor of cannabis the night she received a $12,000 tip from a woman she didn’t know and hasn’t been in contact with since. Fryn’ Pan assistant manager Tracy Johnson was quoted by ABC News having said:

“She was just in the right place at the right time.”

Fortunately for the struggling waitress of 18 years, the authorities have finally decided to return her astounding $12,000 tip after Assistant Clay County Attorney Michelle Lawson told reporters that the money could not be tied to a criminal investigation and that the mother of five would receive a check.

What do you think of the Minnesota authorities decision to return the $12,000 tip to Moorhead resident Stacy Knutson?

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