A 65-year-old man was arrested Tuesday night for having dinner at a Boca Raton restaurant and not having any money to pay for it.
It's nothing new for Howard Robison, according to arrest reports.
Since the late 1980s, reports show, Robison has been charged at least 33 times in Palm Beach County with defrauding an innkeeper.
That's the charge, under Florida law, that refers to somebody obtaining food or lodging with intent to defraud — or, as is alleged in this case, knowingly running up a restaurant bill and then not paying for it.
On Tuesday night, Robison went to The Grille on Congress, at 5101 Congress Ave. in Boca Raton, where he ordered drinks, dinner and dessert, according to an arrest report.
The total tab came to $56.18. Robison couldn't pay for it, police said, so the owner of the restaurant called police.
Officers arrived about 8:15 p.m. Robison allegedly said he had left his debit card at the place he stays, and that there was nobody who could bring him his card
Officers then looked Robison up, and found that he had been arrested "over 20 times for obtaining food with having no intent for paying for it," the report stated.
Other police reports from 2013 provide more insight. A Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrest report from last summer said that Robison has been charged with defrauding an innkeeper 33 times in Palm Beach County dating to 1989.
The report details his July 28, 2013 arrest, when he was accused of running up a $143 tab at CJ's Island Grill, a Lake Worth restaurant.
"When [the bartender] questioned the defendant on how he was going to pay his tab, the defendant said he had no way to do so," according to the arrest report.
Deputies said they arrived to find that Robison, who they say is a veteran, had no cash, credit or debit cards on him.
On Dec. 5, 2013, Robison was again arrested, this time at the Little Munich bar in Lake Worth, after amassing an $81 bill.
Deputies arrived and spoke to Robison, who said he had lost his wallet that afternoon and hadn't seen it since.
"I asked him if he had any way to pay the bar tab and he stated that he did not and I should just take him to jail to get it over with," a deputy wrote in that arrest report.
In both of those prior cases, according to court records, Robison was found guilty.
He faces a misdemeanor charge of defrauding an innkeeper under $300, and was released from custody early Wednesday.
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