MOORHEAD - For the struggling waitress with five children, the $12,000 left at the table in a to-go box must have seemed too good to be true.
Moorhead police decided it was just that.
Now, the waitress is suing in Clay County District Court, claiming the cash was given to her and police shouldn’t have seized it as drug money.
“The thing that’s sad about it is here’s somebody who truly needs this gift … and now the government is getting in the way of it,” said the woman’s attorney, Craig Richie of Fargo.
Moorhead police Lt. Tory Jacobson said he couldn’t discuss the matter.
“We certainly have an ongoing investigation with it, with suspicion of narcotics or the involvement of narcotics investigators,” he said.
Assistant County Attorney Michelle Lawson also declined to discuss the pending lawsuit.
The Forum isn’t identifying the waitress in order to protect her in case the cash was part of a drug deal.
According to the lawsuit filed three weeks ago:
The waitress was working at the Moorhead Fryn’ Pan when she noticed that a woman had left a to-go box from another restaurant on the table.
The waitress picked it up, followed the woman to her car and tried to give her the box, but the woman replied, “No, I am good; you keep it.”
The waitress thought that was strange, but she agreed and went back inside the restaurant, the lawsuit states. The box felt too heavy to contain only leftovers, so she looked inside and found cash rolled up in rubber bands.
“Even though I desperately needed the money as my husband and I have 5 children, I feel I did the right thing by calling Moorhead Police,” she states in the lawsuit.