Police called over disputed restaurant bill

By REGGIE ROSS
Staff Writer

An evening meal at a local restaurant turned sour between a visiting couple and a business owner last week, stemming from an unpaid bill for a  steak.

Grenada Police Chief Garrett Hartley called the incident a “misunderstanding,” and said both parties involved went through a heated exchange of words. The incident even led to a vehicle being towed away from the restaurant premises as collateral.

The incident occurred at Jake and Rips at 10:35 p.m., Friday, May 15, and an officer with GPD was called to respond to a civil matter.

According to the GPD incident report, the officer was met by restaurant owner Ben Liles, who demanded that he speak with him.  The officer stated in the report that he also spoke with a couple who was dining in the restaurant.

The couple “stated that their order was wrong in more ways than one, and they were not going to pay for everything because they did not eat everything,” the report states.

The couple told an officer that they ordered a steak, loaded tots, mozzarella sticks and water. According to the report, the couple offered to pay for the mozzarella sticks because they had already eaten them. The couple told the officers they finally agreed to pay for the meal in full before leaving.

According to the report, an argument ensued, and Liles told officers he wanted the couple “thrown in jail for disturbing the peace.”
The officer stated that due to the situation becoming heated, he contacted his shift supervisor. When the shift supervisor arrived, the officer stated he continued to speak with the couple.

“I advised (the couple) that they could pay for the food when Liles stated that the food was ‘out,’ and that he wanted them in jail,” the report stated.

The incident took another twist when a wrecker service showed up to remove the couple’s vehicle from the property.

The wrecker service showed up “(stating) that they were called to get a vehicle,” the report states. Liles stepped outside and stated that he called the wrecker service “to tow” the couple’s car away “until court when he could get his money.”

Officers advised Liles that the car was not illegally parked or wrongfully parked.

The couple did retrieve their vehicle later.