San Diego woman wants half of $100K raised for Starbucks barista following mask dispute

Woman wants half of $100K raised for Starbucks barista after mask dispute

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego woman said she should receive half of the $100,000 raised for a Starbucks barista who refused to serve her because she wasn't wearing a face mask.

According to KGTV, Amber Lynn Gilles, 35, posted a photo last month of the 24-year-old barista, Lenin Gutierrez, and blasted him for not serving her.

"Meet lenen (sic) from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I'm not wearing a mask," she captioned the Facebook post, which quickly went viral. "Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption."

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But her post appeared to backfire, with many people pointing out that the barista, later identified as Gutierrez, had been complying with a San Diego County public health order requiring masks inside businesses, KNSD reported.

A crowdfunding campaign quickly emerged for Gutierrez.

"Raising money for Lenin for his honorable effort standing his ground when faced with a Karen in the wild," organizer Matt Cowan wrote in the description of the GoFundMe campaign, which eventually raised more than $105,000.

Last week, Cowan and friend Will Collette shared a video of themselves delivering the money to Gutierrez in a silver briefcase, KNSD reported.

"Thank you so much," Gutierrez said in the video, which has been viewed more than 30,000 times on YouTube. "This is so mind-blowing right now. I've never seen anything like this except in the movies."

Now, Gilles believes she is entitled to half of the cash, KGTV reported Tuesday.

"It was discrimination, and everybody is OK with it and enabling and rewarding that behavior," she told the news outlet.

Gilles, who previously told KNSD that she is considering suing Cowan, added that she has contacted attorneys, but they all charge too much. She said she hopes to raise money with her own crowdfunding campaign, KGTV reported.

Gilles also claimed that she can't wear a mask because she experiences symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, asthma and mask acne, according to KGTV. She went on to show KGTV documentation from a 2015 pelvic exam, as well as a note from a chiropractor saying that Gilles "has underlying breath conditions that prevent her from wearing a mask." The chiropractor declined to discuss Gilles with the news station.