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.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.