Cops: Eating out on the town lands Johns Island man behind bars

Gregory Smith (Source: CCDC)
Gregory Smith (Source: CCDC)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Police say a 41-year-old Johns Island man was arrested three times this month after failing to pay his tab at three different downtown restaurants.

The Charleston Police Department arrested Gregory T. Smith and charged him with two counts of defrauding a public accommodation and one count of defrauding a restaurant.

Investigators say the latest incident happened at Bocci's restaurant on 158 Church Street Friday night. A police officer was on bicycle patrol when he was flagged down by a restaurant employee who said there was someone inside who had tried to walk away on an unpaid tab.

The officer then saw Smith on a stool at the bar and remembered him from a previous incident where he was arrested at a different restaurant for the same offense.

Employees at the restaurant say Smith had ordered and consumed an order of seafood Alfredo with a side of cheesecake and three Yuengling beers. Police say Smith then paid with a debit card which was declined.

Authorities then arrested Smith and locked him up at the Charleston County Detention Center.

Police say the second incident happened on the evening of Aug. 8 at Hyman's Seafood on 213 Meeting Street where officers responded to someone that left without paying for their meal. The manager followed the suspect, Smith, outside and told police that Smith was in the area of East Bay Street and North Market Street.

Officers say they found Smith, who the manager positively identified as the suspect. The manager said that Smith entered the restaurant and ordered $47 worth of food and drinks and attempted to leave without paying for food.

The manager said he attempted to stop Smith as he was leaving, but Smith ignored him and left the area. Smith was placed under arrest for defrauding a restaurant and placed on trespass notice for Hyman's Seafood. He was then locked up at the Charleston County Detention Center.

According to investigators, Smith was first arrested in the early morning hours of Aug. 7 after failing to pay a tab at the Market Street Saloon on 32 N. Market St.

Around 1:30 a.m., a police officer was approached by a Market Street Saloon employee who said Smith had an unpaid tab for three rum drinks in the amount of $22.50 and that the suspect's card was declined.

Smith told police that he would be able to withdraw money from an ATM. The employee and the officer then accompanied Smith to a nearby ATM. Police say when Smith attempted to withdraw $20 using his debit car, the transaction was canceled due to insufficient funds.

Smith was then arrested and charged with defrauding a public accommodation.

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