"Dine-and-dash": the three words no restaurant server wants to hear. We also really hate it. At its worst, it's one of those things that causes you to sit back, vaguely depressed, and wonder at the daring stupidity of people. That's especially true of one recent story, in which a group of diners allegedly ditched their bill in a manner so seemingly tailor-made for tabloid headlines that the only thing missing is an alien baby.
The scene was Philadelphia's Tiffany Diner, where waitress Ashley Volkan had no indication of what the group of adults she was serving was about to do. As Philly.com reported, the group left Volkan a counterfeit $50 bill before making a run for it. But that's not the weird part--the group, two men and two women--then escaped in a car bearing a Fraternal Order of Police tag on its license plate.
"She ran in front of their car...and they almost ran her over," said manager Sinan Grecer. "Another manager took down the license plate and gave it to the police. They checked to see who it belonged to, and it ended up being registered to an officer."
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The plot thickens. The incident soon sparked an Internal Affairs probe (cue Law & Order theme), although the officer who owns the vehicle, Von Williams, was quickly cleared.
"She wasn't there," John McNesby, president of FOP Lodge No. 5, told Philly.com. "She lent the car to some relatives and I imagine charges will be pending against them."
Typically, the destructive impact of the dine-and-dash (dining-and-dashing?) is limited to restaurant servers, from whom it steals tips and can potentially threaten their livelihood. But in this instance, the ditchers managed to find a way to simultaneously threaten the reputation of an officer who, McNesby noted, has been with the Philly police for 14 years.
Way to go?
"Everybody was in shock," said police spokesman Lt. John Stanford. "I just don't understand why anyone would do something like this."
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