SAN JOSE, Calif. – The infamous Chili Finger Lady is in hot water again, accused of cooking up another yarn. Last time, the lie was about a severed finger. This time, prosecutors say, it’s about a wounded ankle.
Anna Ayala, the woman behind the notorious 2005 hoax involving a segment of human finger strategically placed as an extortion-flavored ingredient in a bowl of fast-food chili, was again behind bars after being arrested Thursday on charges of being an accessory to a felony and filing a false police report.
The finger escapade was a weird scam that attracted worldwide attention – an oddball plot by Ayala and her husband to bilk money out of Wendy’s restaurants after her husband bought a dismembered ring finger for $100 from a co-worker who had lost it in a workplace accident.
This time, Santa Clara County prosecutor Bret Wasley said her lie wasn’t for financial gain, but rather to protect her son, whom police found suffering from a gunshot wound to the ankle in front of his Alviso, Calif., home.
Guadalupe Reyes has a previous burglary conviction, Wasley said, and is not allowed to possess a gun. Her son told officers he was approached by a pair and shot “for no rhyme or reason.”
Ayala backed up the story, giving authorities a detailed description of her son’s alleged assailants. They say she later acknowledged that Reyes had shot himself.
Both were being held in jail on $150,000 bail apiece.