Drink Refill At VA Hospital Won't Cost Man $525 After All

CHARLESTON, S.C. (April 17, 2014) Christopher Lewis of North Charleston, S.C., helped himself to a refill of his 89-cent drink at a Veterans Affairs hospital only to discover later that it cost a lot more than he expected when he was fined $525.

But this time he's getting a break.

VA spokeswoman Tonya C. Lobbestael said after reviewing what happened at the Ralph C. Johnson Center in Charleston, officials decided a warning was sufficient.

WCSC-TV reported that there are signs in the facilities cafeteria advising customers that refills are not free, so when Lewis refilled his drink without paying Wednesday, a federal police officer gave him a ticket.

Lewis, a construction worker, says he never noticed the signs and has refilled his drink without paying before.

The medical center said in a statement that Lewis was ticketed for shoplifting, but that the VA doesn't determine the amount of the fine.

Lewis says he wasn't given a chance to pay for the refill and will contest the fine in federal court.


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