Bardstown store owner disputes viral post claiming he stole money meant to help family of murder victim
A viral post on social media slams a Bardstown business claiming the store owner took money meant to help the family of a recent murder victim.
BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Inside the Speedy Mart on Bloomfield Road in Bardstown, employees say there were noticeably fewer customers on Wednesday.
“You can tell a difference today. I mean, it’s slowed down,” night manager Pam Whallen said.
The phones are a different story, though. Whallen says they were ringing non-stop all day with hateful callers.
“It’s been going all day. 'We’re gonna boycott your store. We’re gonna keep anybody from coming in your store. You all are nothing but thieves,'” Whallen said.
Whallen says the reason is a post to Facebook made Tuesday that was shared more than 1,000 times in less than 24 hours.
“I'm pretty fired up this evening. A close friend of mine was given permission to place a collection jar in a local business to collect funds to help a family whose loved one passed. It was to help pay funeral expenses. It was there for a little over a week, and was closely watched as it filled with money. Employees and family members watched it fill with paper money. An employee there contacted the family because The jar was full and ready to pick up. When they went to pick it up, it had 95 cents in it. When they spoke to the owner at Speedy Mart on Bloomfield Rd. they were told the family didn't need the money because the person was already dead. If his customers had extra money they needed to spend it in his store and the money belonged to him the owner. I will be boycotting his establishment from this point on. But first I plan on letting him know that this is Bardstown. Kentucky. USA. and we don't do our fellow man that way. That his greed has cost him my business. I suggest you do the same. Speedy Mart, Bloomfield Rd.”
Employees at Speedy Mart say the donation jar had a picture of Linda Leslie, a Bardstown woman murdered on Aug. 31 in Louisville.
“It’s a lie,” Whallen said. “I mean, it made me mad, because they’re saying things that’s not true, and they’re calling him a thief, and he’s not ... He didn’t take nothing.”
The owner of the store provided WDRB News with surveillance video he says shows the donation jar was not out for a week, but was instead placed on the counter on Saturday night and removed the following afternoon, because the owner says he had not given anyone permission.
The video shows very few people donating. That’s why the owner and his employees say when the jar was given back, there was just about nothing inside.
“I know people dropped a few change in there, but I mean, maybe a dollar. No money was taken. I swear, no money was taken,” Whallen said.
According to the owner of Speedy Mart, the post had hurt his business so dramatically that he’s taken the issue to the Nelson County Attorney to pursue legal action.
The woman who left the jar at Speedy Mart has asked not to be identified. She spoke over the phone with WDRB’s Josh Breslow on Wednesday evening and said the post has been removed and she calls it a “misunderstanding.”
However, the owner of the Speedy Mart says nothing has been resolved and as of Wednesday night, the harassing calls to his business continue.
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