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Update: Case Tips Over - Police Drop Tipping Charges

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on November 23, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

As we recently discussed, Pennsylvania college students Leslie Pope and John Wagner were arrested by police last week for refusing to pay the 18% mandatory gratuity tacked onto their bill at the Leigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pa. That two-person crime wave came to an abrupt halt when, even after explaining they had received terrible service and would not be leaving any gratuities, pub employees had the students arrested.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said today that the Bethlehem commissioner planned to drop the charges. The DA agreed with the decision saying, "it would not be the kind of case that should be processed criminally. It was one of those matters that should be processed civilly."

Meanwhile, Lehigh Pub manager William Sheehan was shocked to find his case dropped by police. In a slightly unclear statement drafted by the pub's counsel, he told the press: "We do not agree with the facts as presented in the press last week. This is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Bethlehem Police Department, not Lehigh Pub, and we will defer to them as the legal process plays out." At this time, it seems that the police investigation has indeed played out.

One mystery remains. Sharp-eyed mother of accused perpetrator Leslie Pope noted to the Morning Call that the tip charged Pope and Wagner's party was not actually 18% as supposed, but more. followed up, asking, was the discrepancy caused "by error, greed, or some detail that hasn't yet been revealed(?)"

The dinner service at Lehigh Pub may be abysmal, but your 15 minutes of fame are served up piping hot. Pope and Wagner are due to appear on CNN tomorrow. 

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