An IHOP waiter claiming to be a “modern day Robin Hood” has been charged with giving away more than $3,000 in beverages to customers in New York.
William Powell, 27, was arrested earlier this month and charged with larceny, petit larceny and possession of stolen property for handing out free coffee, tea and soda to customers at an IHOP restaurant in Brooklyn, according to court documents.
“I am a modern day Robin Hood; I am not stealing,” Powell said, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kings County in Brooklyn. “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.”
The franchise owner told police that he noticed Powell’s beverage sales accounted for only 6 percent of a total bill, compared to 17 to 20 percent for other employees, according to court documents.
The owner said he saw on surveillance video that Powell was serving “a typical amount of beverages” to customers, but looking at IHOP records, he realized that Powell was not charging them for the drinks, according to the documents.
Powell is accused of doling out freebies from August 2015 to February 2016.
He was arrested March 2 and arraigned the next day, according to reports.
Powell told New York Daily News that he was trying to please customers.
“It was me looking out for the community,” he said. “There are certain people that couldn’t afford the drinks. There was no malicious intent. Me and the owner weren’t seeing eye-to-eye.”
Powell told the newspaper that he was not trying to earn extra tips; he noticed customers were sometimes hesitant to buy beverages and he wanted to help.
“I kind of told them, ‘This is not supposed to happen, but here you guys go,’ ” he said.
Powell is set to appear in court May 11.
This story has been updated.