More than $67,000 raised for San Diego Starbucks barista targeted in Facebook post over mask policy

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CNS) -- More than $67,000 has been raised for a San Diego Starbucks employee who became the target of a local woman's vitriol in an online post over the store's COVID-19-related mask policy.

The woman, identified through Facebook as Amber Lynn Gilles, posted a since-deleted picture online Monday of the barista, identified as Lenin Gutierrez.

In it, Gilles complained that Gutierrez would not serve her unless she donned a mask.

"Meet lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I'm not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption," the post read.

Since then, a GoFundMe page created by Gutierrez's friend, Matt Cowan, has garnered him widespread attention and financial support from more than 5,000 donors.

A masked Gutierrez appeared in a video on Cowan's Youtube page earlier this week after donation reached $10,000.

"Everyone, I just want to say thank you for all the love and support,'' he said in the 17-second video.

"What everyone is doing is an honor to see all this happen, but I just want to remind everyone to be kind to one another and to love each other, and always remember to wear a mask.''

In a statement provided to KGTV, which also provided the video above, a Starbucks spokesperson said: "We respectfully request customers follow social distancing and safety protocols recommended by public health officials, including wearing a facial covering when visiting our stores."
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