Andrew Palmer was really good at his hobby. Unfortunately, his hobby was faking seizures to get out of paying his tab at Baltimore's finest dining establishments.
It was a crime that Palmer committed again and again, year after year, earning himself quite a reputation around town, eventually becoming known by police and paramedics. Once people caught on to his scheme —restaurants started posting his picture on their walls — he was arrested multiple times. However, Palmer was wily and made sure that the bills he wracked up were never over $100. The maximum sentence for crimes under that cut-off is 90 days, For some reason, that was a price Palmer was willing to pay, again and again. According to the Baltimore City Paper, since 1985, Palmer has been arrested more than 80 times, and convicted more than 40, but he kept on dining and dashing. "I said, 'We have to get this guy more than 90 days. That just doesn’t faze him,'" Assistant State's Attorney Scott Richman told the Baltimore Sun.
His long crime spree may have finally drawn to a close on Friday, though, when District Judge Theodore B. Oshrine handed down a five year sentence for his latest caper, where he was charged with leaving an unpaid $89 bill on the table at a restaurant last fall. Palmer received the sentence of five years when prosecutors successfully argued that while his crime was under $100, it was also under $1,000. By designating the crime as "under $1,000", the judge was able to dole out a stiffer penalty. Public defenders are appealing the verdict.
Palmer was sentenced to 5 years in prison, plus a five-year suspended sentence that will kick in if he repeats his bad behavior during his three year probation period.
[Via Baltimore Sun]