Manager Dre Williams of Shuckers Restaurant and Bar of Fell’s Point has seen customers try to avoid paying a bill before, but on Jan. 17, Andrew Palmer apparently took it to another level.
“He came in like he knew everybody, buying everybody drinks,” said Williams, who has worked at Shuckers since 2005. “He had a couple appetizers and a nice steak dinner.”
But the mood changed at the end of the meal.
“When it was time to pay the bill, he fell down on the floor and had a seizure,” said Williams.
When police arrived, “they knew him,” he added.
According to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, Palmer struck again three days later, this time at Sullivan’s Steakhouse downtown. Between Shuckers and Sullivan’s, Palmer avoided bills of $61.29 and $161.18, respectively, and on Feb. 22 pled guilty to theft of less than $100 and theft of less than $1,000 for the two instances.
“For the first, Baltimore CIty District Court Judge Karen c. Friedman sentenced him to time already served in jail—29 days. For the second, she sentenced him to one year in prison,” reads a press release from the State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein’s office.
According to Bernstein’s office, Palmer “has now been convicted more than four dozen times, mostly for eating at restaurants and then feigning attacks to escape the bills.”
The Shuckers incident reportedly occurred six days after Palmer got out of jail for an incident at Harbor East’s Wit and Wisdom Tavern.
Though seizures were new to him, Williams has seen different bill-escaping techniques over the years.
“I’ve seen people fake illnesses, or have everything be fine until it’s time to pay, and then complain about everything,” he said. “Or they say, ‘I have food poisoning,’ which is impossible because food poisoning takes 24 hours to take effect.”
by Erik Zygmont