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http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2012/0424/1-felony-Florida-man-charged-over-soda-bill-at-McDonald-s

$1 felony: Florida man charged over soda bill at McDonald's

A Florida man faces felony charges after refusing to pay $1 for a cup of soda in an East Naples McDonald's restaurant.

The local manager told sheriff's deputies that Mark Abaire filled a courtesy cup with soda and walked out the building without paying. A McDonald's employee told him the cup was only for water. However, Abaire filled it with soda from the fountain machine and went to sit outside the restaurant.

The police report stated that when the manager asked him to pay, Abaire declined, cursed at him and refused to leave the premises, the Naples News reported.

Collier County deputies later arrested Abaire who now faces felony charges, according to the same report.

The initial charge was for petty theft. But due to Abaire's record of prior petty theft convictions, the charge was increased from a misdemeanor to a felony under Florida's 'three strikes' statute.

'Three strikes' laws, currently being used in 26 states, came as a response to public outrage over a string of kidnappings and murders by paroled repeat offenders in Washington State in 1993.

In Florida, a third-degree felony is punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
 

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The headline is misleading. He did not get a felony because he didn't pay for his soda. He got a felony because he is a career criminal with a history of petty theft. Lock him up.
 

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I think the manager was nice enough to give him the chance to pay. But after getting cussed out I don't blame him for calling the cops.
 

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Only negative thing is the amount of money that will be wasted at his trial and such. Headline should read, "Taxpayers to pay thousands for $1 crime."
 

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mattyj513 said:
Only negative thing is the amount of money that will be wasted at his trial and such. Headline should read, "Taxpayers to pay thousands for $1 crime."
Not to mention its us that pay as Florida has no state income tax. All their money comes fRom tourism!
 

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I believe in the third strike law but not for stealing a cup of soda.Maybe if he shot the manager he could have used the "Stand your ground law" defense and walked out in3 days.
 

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Economy must be really bad in Florida, Maybe for this perp, conditions are better in the jail.
 

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mattyj513 said:
Only negative thing is the amount of money that will be wasted at his trial and such. Headline should read, "Taxpayers to pay thousands for $1 crime."
I don't see it as a negative.
This is the type of thing people should be happy about spending their tax dollars on.
The guy was clearly incapable of becoming a model citizen. Three strikes and you're out... fine by me.
 

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Simple math: 2 strikes, one to go, three strikes and your out! One less dirtbag on Floridas west coast ;)
 

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Really?  You folks are okay with the government saying that we will forcibly imprison you for a dollar?  How hard do you think it would be for the government to come up with two felonies and whoops, there's your third?
 

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stalker42 said:
Really? You folks are okay with the government saying that we will forcibly imprison you for a dollar?
You've missed the point. It's irrelevant that this crime was over $1. What's relevant is that this was the third crime (on record) in a state that has a "three strikes" policy.
 

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It is actually unlimited strikes here, until you are caught murdering a police officer. What ever happened to Judge Evelyn LaPorte anyway?
 
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