A Brooklyn, N.Y., IHOP waiter is aligning himself with folk hero Robin Hood, even though he is accused of being a thief, the New York Daily News reports.
William Powell, 27, is facing charges of felony grand larceny and possession of stolen property after allegedly giving away more than $3,000 worth of soft drinks over an eight-month span to customers at the restaurant in the Fort Greene neighborhood of the New York City borough.
The unrepentant Powell, however, sees himself differently.
“I am the modern-day Robin Hood,” Powell said, according to the news site.
“I am not stealing,” he reportedly told the authorities. “I am serving the ones in need. I take from the rich and give to the poor. What’s the big deal? I’ve been doing this since I started here.”
Powell said that whenever he saw customers hesitate before ordering a drink, he just comped their beverages.
“It was me looking out for the community. There are certain people that couldn’t afford the drinks,” he said. “There was no malicious intent. Me and the owner weren’t seeing eye to eye.”
“I kind of told them, ‘This is not supposed to happen, but here you guys go,’” he explained.
Powell said that he wasn’t even doing it to boost his tips, since he would probably have given away food if that were the case.
Powell was caught in his self-proclaimed good deed March 2 after restaurant owner Arkell Cox reviewed receipts and discovered that beverage orders accounted for just 6 percent of Powell’s orders, compared with the 17 percent to 20 percent logged by co-workers.
Powell, who was released on his own recognizance, said that he was worried that the incident would leave him unable to wait tables again.
“I really like being a waiter; I love being a waiter,” he said. “You can change people’s day through jokes and everything.”
Read more at the New York Daily News.