Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Larceny by unpaid bar tab

In Wheeler v. Com., the Virginia Court of Appeals in an opinion by Judge Kelsey, joined by Judge Annunziata and Senior Judge Overton, affirmed the petit larceny conviction who ran up a $30 bar tab, when all he had on him was $8 and his wife's invalid credit card. When the guy didn't pay, the bar owners called the cops, because this had happened before.

And then, when the police arrived, the guy punched one of them, and was carried away in handcuffs, flailing and cursing.

The Court of Appeals granted an appeal only as to the guy's petit larceny conviction, on which Judge Kelsey declared: "Not paying a bar tab is not, by itself, stealing. But ordering drinks knowing that one cannot or will not pay is."

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