Christopher Lewis was ticketed by the Federal Police Force at the downtown Charleston, S.C., hospital and charged with stealing government property because he was unaware of the 89-cent fee to refill drinks..
“As I was filling my cup up, I turned to walk off and a fella grabbed me by the arm and asked me was I going to pay for that, and I told him I wasn’t aware that I had to pay for that,” Lewis told WISTV, “I want everybody to know that I made a simple mistake, that I’m not a thief, that I’m not dishonest. source
Lewis even offered to pay the 89 cents, but the cops wouldn’t let him. Instead, he was taken from the cafeteria to a back room, ticketed $525, and told never to return to the facility.
That means Lewis, a contracted worker, is out of a job.
“I’m done there, at the VA hospital. I’m not allowed to go on the premises anymore. I asked him can I still work on the job site and just bring my lunch and not got to the cafeteria and he said he wanted me off the premises,” he said.
In a statement, the hospital wrote, “Shoplifting is a crime. The dollar amount of the ticket is not determined by VA as it is a Federal citation. The citation may be paid or the recipient may choose to appear in Federal court to contest it.”