A Detroit police officer was among a group of 10 adults and children who dined and dashed from a Japanese restaurant in a suburb of Detroit, leaving behind an unpaid bill of $530.
The police officer was hit with misdemeanor charges after prosecutors said she and her family members including 3 small kids and a baby racked up a bill of $530 during a Mother’s Day dinner, then walked out of the Sagano Japanese Steak House and Bistro in Warren, Mich. without paying, Fox 2 News first reported.
Restaurant owner Yukio Oki reached out to Fox 2 News for help. He said it was the first time a large tab hadn’t been paid by a group of 10 or more since the restaurant opened its doors in the suburb northeast of Detroit.
Oki said the large group came to the restaurant on Dequindre Street at around 8 p.m. without making a reservation.
He said the group casually walked out the door without paying after asking for the bill to be split 5 ways.
“We don’t get this very often,” Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said. “I can’t remember the last time we had a dine and dash and I certainly can’t [remember] one that was $500.”
Fox 2 News aired surveillance video of the diners leaving the restaurant, and Warren police officials asked the public to call if they recognized anyone in the group. That video helped investigators identity the Detroit police officer and another member of the party.
After the video aired, a woman stopped by the restaurant claiming to be friends of the group and offering to pay the bill. But the woman turned out to be the same officer who dined with the large group and skipped out on the bill.
The officer paid the $530 bill without leaving a tip. She was charged with a misdemeanor for defrauding a business owner.
He said he had no hard feelings now that an officer’s career is in jeopardy.
“It’s Mother’s Day,” he said. “It sets a bad example.”