Siler City restaurant owner who received racist letter also facing felony charge in rental car dispute

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SILER CITY, N.C. (WNCN) – The same day the co-owner of a Chatham County restaurant reported receiving a racist letter in his mailbox, the sheriff’s office arrested him on an outstanding charge in Durham.

Andre Chaney, co-owner of A&I’s Chicken Shack, said it surprised him when the deputy investigating the racist note returned less than an hour after leaving.

“He was like, he’s never seen a rental car company that would do something like that before, so he was like, you know, regardless I still have to take you,” Chaney said.

Durham County court records show Chaney faced a felony charge on Aug. 9, 2018, for failing to return a rental car on time to Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

“So, that was something that happened when one of our cars got wrecked and we had a car through Enterprise. Our insurance company told us…we kept the car for, like, three extra days and then turned the car in. Apparently, that’s something that Enterprise did. That’s something we’re going to court to take care of,” he said. “It’s just one of those things. It’s a misunderstanding with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and with us.”

He’s scheduled to return to court Aug. 26.

“It was a lot in one day. But, we know that what we’re dealing with and what’s going on, that it’s a greater purpose than what people are looking at,” he said.

Since posting the racist note on social media, his business has been inundated with new customers wanting to show support. The restaurant just opened last month.

“We don’t care about your political party here. We care about the food that we cook and make sure we put out quality food to our customers,” Chaney said.

On Monday, Chaney said after receiving calls from people questioning the legitimacy of the note, the Facebook and Instagram pages for his business were deactivated without explanation. He’s reached out to the social media companies about it but hasn’t received a response, nor has CBS 17.

“Facebook gone. Instagram gone. Everything has been wiped away,” he said. “This is paid advertisement we need with our social media.”

CBS 17 also learned Tuesday that the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office contacted the FBI about the racist note, which FBI spokesperson Shelley Lynch said is standard in a case like this. She said the FBI does not have an active role in the investigation, which the sheriff’s office is handling.

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