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Man Sold Finger to Pay $50 Debt, Police Say

Special to The Times

Police say the man whose finger was allegedly planted in a bowl of chili as part of a scheme to exact money from the Wendy’s restaurant chain sold it to cover a $50 debt.

Santa Clara County Deputy Dist. Atty. David Boyd said the man, identified in news reports as Brian Paul Rossiter, 36, of Las Vegas, is not a suspect.

“He is cooperating with law enforcement. We don’t have any reason to believe he’s been involved,” Boyd said Wednesday.

Authorities on Wednesday filed an affidavit in court in which Jose Martinez, a San Jose police investigator, said DNA tests showed conclusively that Rossiter, a co-worker of Jaime Plascencia, was the source of the finger that bewildered police and Wendy’s for more than two months.

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Plascencia’s wife, Anna Ayala, also appeared in court Wednesday on charges she planted the finger, which she obtained from her husband, in the chili March 22.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Jerome Nadler refused to reduce bail from $500,000 after prosecutors called Ayala, 39, a flight risk.

Martinez, in the sworn statement, said Plascencia told police that he “purchased the injured co-worker’s detached finger and advised that he intended to use the finger to create a lawsuit by planting the finger in food at an undisclosed restaurant.”

Plascencia, 43, is also accused of failing to pay child support. Meanwhile, Rossiter’s mother, Brenda Shouey of Pennsylvania, said her son had been taken advantage of.

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“My son is the victim in this,” Shouey told the San Francisco Chronicle.

She said her son lost part of his finger when his hand was caught in a mechanical truck lift in December at a paving firm where he worked with Plascencia.


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