According to police reports, Mark Abaire, 52, entered a McDonald's restaurant in Naples, Florida, around 10 p.m. Thursday. Abaire asked the staff for a water cup, but instead of a refreshing cup of H2O, he proceeded to fill it with soda and take a seat just outside the McDonald's entrance.
A manager confronted Abaire and asked him to pay for the soda, and that is when things escalated. Abaire refused to pay for the soda. At McDonald's, all sodas, regardless of size, are a mere $1. Abaire was asked to leave the area, and he again refused the request. Authorities were called to the scene and took the man into custody.
The soda theft incident resulted in charges of petty theft, trespassing and disorderly intoxication. However, because of Abaire's previous rap sheet, the petty theft was bumped up from a misdemeanor to a felony, meaning a conviction could result in a prison term of five years and a $5,000 fine.
A search of Abaire's criminal history via the Collier County Clerk's website reveals a laundry list of misbehavior. Dozens of misdemeanors and felonies appear on his record dating back to a 1987 felony charge for trespassing at a structure or conveyance.
Most recently, a misdemeanor charge of obstructing an officer without violence was filed in February. Prior to that, Abaire found himself in hot water (or soda) for indecent exposure in public in September of last year.
Abaire currently sits in the Collier County jail with bond set at $6,500. Although if Abaire had no intention of paying for a $1 soda, it stands to reason he may not be able to post bond. He is set to have his day in court May 14.
This is not the first odd story regarding a beverage at McDonald's this month. Last week, a 19-year-old employee at the restaurant was arrested for allegedly spitting in the sweet teas of two customers. In that story, the customers had claimed the drinks were not sweet enough and asked the employee to rectify the situation. When their drinks were returned, the customers found phlegm wading in the liquid.
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