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Theft Charges Dropped Against Italian Tourist In Dine-And-Dash Case

Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse

(Credit: Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Theft charges were dropped Monday against an Italian tourist who allegedly refused to pay a $208 tab at the swank Smith & Wollensky steakhouse.

Graziano Graziussi, 43, was arrested a week ago after leaving Smith & Wollensky on Third Avenue without paying. Graziussi told a waiter that he didn’t have his wallet to pay the tab, according to published reports.

Graziussi, an attorney from Naples, reportedly offered the restaurant his iPhone for collateral and suggested he go back to where he was staying to return with the money. But police said Graziussi did have a wallet with $118, but refused to hand it over.

Graziussi claimed not to speak English, but a patrol supervisor who responded to the scene was fluent in Italian and was able to translate.

“He conducted the interview and determined that the individual simply did not want to pay,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said last week.

On Monday, a judge told Graziussi that the misdemeanor theft of services charges would be dropped, and the record sealed, if he stays out of trouble for the next six months.

Graziussi also was ordered to pay his $208 bill.

Do you think the charges should have been dropped? Please leave your comments below…

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