A waiter at a Brooklyn IHOP sees himself as a folk hero, but his boss says he’s a thief.
“I am the modern-day Robin Hood,” said William Powell, 27, after prosecutors accused him of giving away $3,000-plus in soft drinks to customers over eight months.
They charged the self-styled Robin HOP with felony grand larceny and possession of stolen property.
“I am not stealing,” Powell told cops. “I am serving the ones in need. I take from the rich and give to the poor. What’s the big deal? I’ve been doing this since I started here.”
Powell told the Daily News on Wednesday his sugary magnanimity sprang from a desire to make patrons of the Livingston St., Fort Greene, restaurant merry men and women.
“It was me looking out for the community. There are certain people that couldn’t afford the drinks,” he said. “There was no malicious intent. Me and the owner weren’t seeing eye-to-eye.”
Typically, when he saw customers hesitate before buying a drink with their meal, Powell wound up comping their beverages.
“I kind of told them, ‘This is not supposed to happen, but here you guys go,’ ” he explained.
He debunked any notion he was doing it to boost his tips, he said, or else he’d have given away free food.
Police busted Powell on March 2.
Restaurant owner Arkell Cox had reviewed receipts and found beverage orders amounted to just 6% of Powell’s orders — compared with the 17% to 20% logged by his co-workers, according to the criminal complaint.
Cox did not return messages seeking comment.
Powell, who was released on his own recognizance, said he’s worried he won’t be allowed to wait tables again.
“I really like being a waiter, I love being a waiter,” he said. “You can change people’s day through jokes and everything.”