SC man facing federal charges over 89 cent drink refill

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — A Charleston man was hit with a federal fine for refilling his drink without paying the 89 cents.

According to WCSC, the on-site construction worker says he didn’t know refills at the VA Medical Center in Charleston came at a price.

Christopher Lewis now faces federal charges.

Lewis was given a ticket by the Federal Police Force at the VA Medical Center after he refilled his soda without paying the 89 cents.

A hospital spokesperson called it a “theft of government property.”

The 89 cent mistake cost him $525, and he is now out of a job.

A hospital spokesperson told WCSC that signs are posted in the cafeteria informing patrons that refills aren’t free. Lewis says he never noticed the signs.

It was reported that Lewis tried to pay the small charge, but wasn’t allowed to.

The medical center released the following statement:

The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is fortunate to have a highly trained Federal police force to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors and employees. As Federal police they are responsible for enforcing the law. Today a Federal citation was issued for shoplifting in the VA cafeteria to an individual who stated to VA police he had not paid for refills of beverages on multiple occasions, even though signs are posted in the cafeteria informing patrons refills are not free. Shoplifting is a crime. The dollar amount of the ticket is not determined by VA as it is a Federal citation. The citation may be paid or the recipient may choose to appear in Federal court to contest it.

Lewis says he will contest the fine in federal court.

Source: WCSC


  • Hookah

    What a joke….you have people getting away with murder everyday, but you want to charge a man an absurd amount of money and a job loss over .89 cents! Get her people, sue the hospital sir and go for the billions they have!

  • NobodyAtAll

    It’s no joke and it’s only going to get worse…Normal respiration is 12 to 16 breaths per minute…Taking 17 will one day be a chargeable infraction…

  • Joe Dirt

    our tax dollars are paying for a drink police and real crime is going on all around them, they should have let him pay and said don’t do it again.
    more over reach of our goverment. sign him up for goverment freebees
    he will need them now.

  • Mark Stabler

    Training, education and experience are some of the most important parts of being a law enforcement officer, but the most important aspect of all, is common sense. This officer has none at all.

  • therealjohnrob

    Cruel and very unusual punishment. I can’t wait for A flash mob to go in and waste as much soda as possible. How about you do something about all the missing persons cases charleston?

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