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Man Arrested by Federal Police Officer for Refilling Soda

cirrusly

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http://www.live5news.com/story/2526...eral-fine-after-he-doesnt-pay-for-soda-refill

foxnews said:
North Charleston man was hit with a federal fine for refilling his drink without paying. The on-site construction worker says he didn't know refills at the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston came at a price, and Wednesday, during his lunch hour, he was slapped with federal charges.
The VA hospital was unapologetic and conversely applauded the federal detainment and citation.
 

FreeInAZ

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Nobody likes a freeloader! That said fountain refills are the norm today, not the exception. So unless their was signage clearly stating NO FREE REFILLS! The man could possibly fight the charges. I'm glad the Feds are so busy catching terrorists and other violent criminals...I mean for God's sake - this guy may have been trying to ingest so much soda that he became a human "seltzer bomb"!!! :eek: sarcasm off now.
 

davidmcbeth

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He's a dumbass for yap yap yaping ... he admitted his guilt.

I do this ALL the time. I'm cheap ! If I have to serve it myself, then I do.

What if you filled it first 1/2 way , sat down and drank it. Then returned to fill it 1/2 way again.

Now, did you steal ? Nope. You just took the product in 1/2 portions twice. You pay for the qty of liquid, not the # of trips to the machine.

A good cross-examination of the gov't witness would end up in many "I don't know" responses creating huge
reasonable doubt.

I've had this happen to me (getting caught refilling) ... never got convicted or even arrested ..because when they ask "hey, did you just refill w/o paying?" I just look at them like they are from Mars. Its a crime almost impossible to prove..unless you provide the evidence. Like this goof did.

I would say 50% of people do this....and those that don't are not thirsty ...


If I have to fill it ... its free refills no matter what any sign says IMO.

Of course, I would find the guy not guilty ...

The law should not concern itself with trivial matters.
 
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davidmcbeth

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sudden valley gunner

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Even if found guilty for this complete waste of our resources there is no way his "fine" will cover the costs of his prosecution.

And the government is the victim?
 

HeroHog

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From: postandcourier.com - man-who-got-500-ticket-for-drink-refill-at-charleston-va-hospital-will-get-off-with-a-warning
"In reviewing the case, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center has determined a warning in lieu of a citation is sufficient in this case," hospital spokeswoman Tonya Lobbestael said. "The individual is not banned from the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center."
...as he should. They initially BANNED him from the property meaning he could no longer work there! That was reascended as well.
 

stealthyeliminator

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The stupidity of this incident is mind-blowing. I imagine the only reason they dropped it to a warning is because of the media spread and accompanying outrage.

It's a .98c refill. If he 'stole' 100 refills, it's only $89. Take him to small claims court or something. Or hell, why not just try telling him, "hey, refills aren't free. Pay for your refill or leave"
 

OC for ME

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The stupidity of this incident is mind-blowing. I imagine the only reason they dropped it to a warning is because of the media spread and accompanying outrage.

It's a .98c refill. If he 'stole' 100 refills, it's only $89. Take him to small claims court or something. Or hell, why not just try telling him, "hey, refills aren't free. Pay for your refill or leave"
You do realize that we are talking about bureaucrats.....right? ;)
 

Brian D.

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Out in the real world (private sector restaurants) I have seen signage at the self service soft drink station which read along the lines of "Free refills during your present visit here only". It's not hard to imagine why such a rule was put in place.
 

JoeSparky

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First--- per reading the posted link it seems the guy was not just getting a "refill" but bringing an "outside" container in and getting the soda without paying. IF this is what he was actually doing it is absolutely theft in my mind.

Since on this forum we advocate for LAWFUL ACTIONS ONLY I can't feel any sympathy for him. IF the VA police can prove that he did STEAL the product then he should suffer the penalty for his crime/infraction.

I don't appreciate FREELOADERS and USERS for they are actually STEALING the goods/time/money from those who actually produce.

Where is JOHN GALT?
 

davidmcbeth

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First--- per reading the posted link it seems the guy was not just getting a "refill" but bringing an "outside" container in and getting the soda without paying. IF this is what he was actually doing it is absolutely theft in my mind.

Since on this forum we advocate for LAWFUL ACTIONS ONLY I can't feel any sympathy for him. IF the VA police can prove that he did STEAL the product then he should suffer the penalty for his crime/infraction.

I don't appreciate FREELOADERS and USERS for they are actually STEALING the goods/time/money from those who actually produce.

Where is JOHN GALT?
He admitted his guilt ... so proof is pretty easy. I had no sympathy for his plight since he admitted his guilt.

He's the #1 wanted man in America? No. Nobody really cares about what he did. Well, except for you (for some unknown reason).

A trivial matter that courts should not even be bothered with.

I think that JoeSparky's post is punishment enough.

CASE CLOSED !
 
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JoeSparky

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He admitted his guilt ... so proof is pretty easy. I had no sympathy for his plight since he admitted his guilt.

He's the #1 wanted man in America? No. Nobody really cares about what he did. Well, except for you (for some unknown reason).

A trivial matter that courts should not even be bothered with.

I think that JoeSparky's post is punishment enough.

CASE CLOSED !
Are you responding as if I was attacking you or your post? My first post on this thread is after yours SEQUENTIALLY because of posting times NOT BECAUSE I WAS ATTACKING YOU.

Principles are principles.
 

davidmcbeth

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Are you responding as if I was attacking you or your post? My first post on this thread is after yours SEQUENTIALLY because of posting times NOT BECAUSE I WAS ATTACKING YOU.

Principles are principles.
Was not attacking you .... just that your post is punishment enough for his transgression.

I refilled a drink today ... federal agents did not swoop down and arrest me...

Its just a joke that resources were expended for such a trivial thing...just tell the guy he can not eat there anymore.
 

JoeSparky

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Was not attacking you .... just that your post is punishment enough for his transgression.

I refilled a drink today ... federal agents did not swoop down and arrest me...

Its just a joke that resources were expended for such a trivial thing...just tell the guy he can not eat there anymore.
Are you confessing to "retail theft"? or just doing what many but not all businesses allow--- that of free refills on sodas?

While I agree that the initial penalty associated with his crime seemed to be extraordinarily high based upon the actual value to the product acquired without payment for same, It is RIDICULOUS that the original charge was "theft of government property" as it was clearly "RETAIL THEFT" only.

I believe one should/must be honorable and have integrity. Yes, I do return excess change received at the register to the clerk/store. Am I 100% honest? NOPE, but it is a goal. Theft is theft it doesn't matter if it is 5 cents worth of sodapop syrup or 5Trillion Dollars--- the Principle is the same. It should not matter the value or cost--- one is either honest or not.

You did see that my comments were prefaced by "IF"? I did not condemn him or convict him. I simply stated that upon conviction he should pay the piper! I am aware the "government" has elected to only "warn" him in addition to prohibiting his return onto the property which results in his losing his job.

I think the real discussion should be the vast expansion of Federal Government into what should and properly would be a function of the individual States. States have police powers NOT the Federal Government.
 
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color of law

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I don't think the federal court has jurisdiction to enforce a state's criminal code.

If I went to federal court I would challenge Personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction.

However, some misdemeanors occurring on certain federal property can be tried in federal courts.
 

JoeSparky

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I don't think the federal court has jurisdiction to enforce a state's criminal code.

If I went to federal court I would challenge Personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction.

However, some misdemeanors occurring on certain federal property can be tried in federal courts.
ORIGINAL charge was "THEFT OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY" as a FEDERAL crime based upon it occurring on the Federally owned VA facility. Retail theft of sodapop certainly properly fits within the perview of the STATE level.

Charging one with a federal level crime for this or other alleged crimes NOT SPECIFICALLY mentioned in the Fed Constitution as a FEDERAL crime should NEVER be charged in a federal level court but as a state/municipal court.
 

JoeSparky

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The image of the citation in my OP indicates 'shoplifting.' The local rag was my hometown paper for 30 years, I follow it closely, and do not recall any such "theft of government property."
I see that. I could have sworn I saw/read somewhere about the original charge being "theft of government property" but I am unable to find a cite for it now.

But, I reiterate---- Shoplifting is a STATE LEVEL crime NOT a Federal crime per the LIMITED number of specific listed federal crimes in the US CONSTITUTION and it should be prosecuted AT THE STATE LEVEL.
 
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