Skooter reporting 04/25/12
A Florida man was arrested on a felony charge of stealing a cup of soda from McDonald's and most likely facing five years in prison.
Mark Abaire, 52, was arrested last week by the Collier County Sheriff's Department on a felony theft charge. It was reported that Abaire entered the fast-food restaurant on 14th Street North in Naples, requested for a cup of water and was then seen pouring the cup with soda before taking a seat outside the restaurant and sipping the beverage, authorities said
Abaire was approached by the manager and asked him to pay for the $1 soda. The man apparently refused. It was told that he cursed at the manager and refused to leave when asked to do.
The unemployed man has a history of minor petty theft convictions. His crime records led law enforcement officers to upgrade the case from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Since Florida is known for tough on crime, this category of felonies carries a prison term of up to five years along with a $5,000 fine. Abaire faces additional charges of trespassing and disorderly intoxication.
What makes this incident interesting is the public reaction to the arrest. As we have said, Florida is known for its no-nonsense attitude toward lawbreakers. Many reactions were received and not too happy about taxpayer money being used to keep Abaire behind bars, where he is now because he has not yet been able to make his $6,500 bail and is seems to remain if convicted of all the charges against him.
One commment: "So the taxpayer gets to pay for his lawyer, the trial, and his room and board all for the cost of a $1.00 soda which actually costs under a dime." And another one: "Wow! and with the mark-up on their sodas they couldn't just let it go? Waste. Of. Time and Money.".
And yet another one had this to say: "Let him meet ole Sparky."
"Sparky" means the state's electric chair.
Source: LA Times