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April 22, 2005
That Fickle Finger Of Fate

Anna Ayala set off a nationwide hunt for an answer to whose finger ended up in her Wendy's chili bowl in San Jose last month. After sales dropped all over Northern California when Wendy's customers became rather reluctant to find the rest of the body, Ayala filed suit for emotional distress against the fast-food giant. Now, however, Ayala finds herself in a different arena in the justice system as Las Vegas police have arrested her in connection to the claim:

The woman who claimed she found a finger in her bowl of Wendy's chili last month has been arrested, the latest twist in a bizarre case about how the 1 1/2-inch finger tip ended up in a bowl of fast food.

Anna Ayala was taken into custody late Thursday at her Las Vegas home, police said.

Authorities would not provide details until a news conference Friday in San Jose, Calif. the city where Ayala claimed she bit down on the finger in a mouthful of her steamy stew.

No one has provided any details of the charges Ayala faces, but recent information has proven that Ayala either has the worst luck at drive-through restaurants or likes to file lurid claims against them and others on a frequent basis:

Ayala's claim that she found the finger tip, complete with a well-manicured nail, on March 22 initially drew sympathy. But when police and health officials failed to find any missing digits among the workers involved in the restaurant's supply chain, suspicion fell on Ayala, and her story has become a late-night punch line. ...

As it turns out, Ayala has a litigious history. She has filed claims against several corporations, including a former employer and General Motors, though it is unclear from court records whether she received any money. She said she got $30,000 from El Pollo Loco after her 13-year-old daughter got sick at one of the chain's Las Vegas-area restaurants. El Pollo Loco officials say she did not get a dime.

It appears that Wendy's customers in Redwood Country can return to their chili bowls without fear of cannibalism. Ayala may have made this last claim just too sensational for her own good. Instead of shaming Wendy's into coughing up a five-figure settlement, her charges went national and forced Wendy's to defend itself vigorously, something corporations should do more often. When no one at Wendy's won the Frodo Baggins Look-Alike Contest, the notoriety forced a look at Ayala's litigious history, which pointed to fraud as the most likely answer.

The question still remains, though, as to where the finger came from, regardless of who put it in the chili. If Ayala set the entire case up, where did she get it?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 22, 2005 5:35 AM

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» Wendy's Finger Finder Pinched from FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
Flap previously reported on this story here and here. But, now there is more..... Fox News is reporting the story that the woman who reported finding a severed human finger in her chili at Wendy's restaurant last month has been arrested by police:... [Read More]

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» Wendy's Finger Finder Arrested from Vista On Current Events

Report via FOX News.com
Anna Ayala, the woman who claimed she found a finger in her bowl of Wendy's chili a few weeks ago has been arrested. She was ... [Read More]

Tracked on April 22, 2005 12:29 PM

» Giving Ana the Finger...And Taking it Back from The American Princess
uckily--though a little too late for Wendy's (who is standing by its comment that all of its employees "have ten digits."), the lady who "found" the finger in her Wendy's chili has probably played the litigation lotto and lost. But it wouldn't be the f... [Read More]

Tracked on April 22, 2005 2:36 PM

» Giving Wendy's the Finger from Roborant
Anna Ayala is the woman who claimed to find a finger in her Wendy's chili bowl last month. She has now been arrested on felony counts of attempted grand theft and grand theft . Let's treat this as a problem in logic, since the "problem space" is so res [Read More]

Tracked on April 22, 2005 2:46 PM

» Waiter! Waiter! There's a finger in my chili...Ne from Down deep in Texas: The View from Waco
Okay, All joking aside, this story is really not funny at all. This woman, by her actions in claiming that Wendy's was responsible for a finger being in her chili has done some pretty serious harm to the fast food chain's reputation in northern Calif... [Read More]

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