Police officer saves prom for Tennessee teen after $700 dress deal goes sour

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Tennessee police officer saved prom for a North Memphis KIPP High School graduate after a business deal went sour – one day before the big event.

Ryneisha Gardner had big plans of having a high school prom just like any other teenager. She said she even spent nearly $700 to get a seamstress to make her dress.

"On May 10, which was the Friday before my prom, the lady said I could come get my dress," Gardner said.

But there was one problem: The teenager showed WHBQ pictures of the holes and spots on her royal blue and gold prom dress.

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“When we got there, the same spots that were on the dress were on there from about a week ago,” Gardner said.

She explained there was not an excuse because she reached out to seamstress, Antoinette Morris, back in November about making the dress.

Gardner said Morris, who rents booth space at I-Style, initially agreed to reimburse her. But Morris claimed she didn’t have enough money.

That’s when things got heated. Morris called police.

“At this time, I was crying. I didn’t want to go to prom,” Gardner said.

She said Morris told her to come back later that day after officers asked for the dress to be fixed.

Garner said when she returned hours later, the dress was still in bad shape.

WHBQ contacted to Morris on Monday, but Morris said she did not want to comment.

Garner said she never got her $700 back, and now she’s taking the woman to court.

That’s when Memphis police Officer Stephan Holmes stepped in.

“He asked my mom, ‘What’s your cash app?’ and when she looked down at her phone, there was $540 for prom.”

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Not only did Garner get a new dress, but she became prom queen.

“We found this other lady that made it in less than five hours, and my dress was still beautiful, so it really uplifted my spirit when they called my name at prom for prom queen. I was just happy.”

She and her grandmother wanted to thank the officer publicly.

“He told her do not give up on yourself and go to your prom,” said Garner’s grandmother, Gail Buck. “It was just a blessing from God.”

The family said they are going to bring a gift basket to Holmes when he returns to work Tuesday.