A 58-year-old individual has become a significant challenge for restaurant owners in the Dutch city of Delft by dining without settling the bill on at least 127 occasions over the past few years.
Earlier this month, law enforcement in Delft responded to a restaurant where a man was reportedly attempting to evade payment by feigning a medical emergency. Mike Hogeveen, the bartender at the undisclosed establishment, observed the man’s suspicious behavior when he began buying rounds for others and generously sharing his food. The situation escalated when the individual started simulating a stroke by shaking his left arm uncontrollably. Paramedics were called to the scene, but upon assessment, they discerned that the man was pretending and declined to transport him to the hospital, contrary to his request.
Confronted with the paramedics’ refusal to transport the man in their ambulance, the restaurant owner approached the 58-year-old customer regarding the unpaid bill. However, considering the patron’s claim of experiencing a recent mild stroke, he suggested settling the matter at a later date. The patron agreed, but as he provided the restaurateur with his name and address, a paramedic intervened, asserting that he had given them different information just moments earlier.
“He thought he could avoid paying a bill of more than a hundred euros ($108) by feigning illness,” remarked Hogeveen.
Following the ambulance worker’s advice, the restaurant owner contacted the police. They conducted a search of the man’s pockets for identification, and upon reviewing his file at the police station, they discovered he was a “notorious food pirate” who had been causing trouble for local restaurants for years. There were at least 127 complaints against him for dining at establishments without settling the bill. Despite facing a civil suit, no one had succeeded in compelling him to cease his actions.