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$1 Felony at McDonald’s – The Other Side

$1 felony for not paying a cup of soda at McDonald's sounds ridiculous right?


So here’s the other side of the story: Mark Abaire claimed he wanted water but he was presented with a wide variety of beverages so he chose a drink that was going to cost him a little cash: the $1 soda. Then he went to the table outside to drink the soda but the manager approached him and asked him to pay $1. He refused to pay.

The manager called the police. They tossed the 52-year-old man in jail and charged him with $1 felony for the petty crime he committed.

Abaire is now facing years of jail time and/or a fine of thousand dollars.

You might be thinking, felony for not paying $1, is too much.

This is because Abaire had a couple of petty theft convictions already in the past and hitting the “three strikes” law in Florida aggravates the crime.

Mike Adams, the owner of McDonald’s in East Naples, issued the following statement:

“I take these matters seriously. As a local business owner, I have a responsibility to take appropriate steps to protect my business and keep my customers and employees safe.”

He also pointed out that Abaire was issued a trespass warning at the same McDonald’s in 2008.

The third-degree felony in Florida has a punishment of 5 years maximum in prison and a $5,000 fine. And it’s because of the $1 soda that he did not want to pay.

Photo Credit: McDonald’s

Check out this video about the $1 soda at McDonald’s:

61 Comments on $1 Felony at McDonald’s – The Other Side

  1. Hey you never know!!

  2. You want a soda, pay for it!  Bottom line!  Homeless or a millionaire, you ask for water and knowingly pour a soda, pay for it!
    Shouldnt have called cops, I would have made him sweep the floors, do the trash run and given him a large coke to go and tell him never to return.

  3. Its not the managers responsibility to keep track of other peoples past petty thefts (that’s the real reason why he is facing jail time, the manager didn’t “toss him in jail”). If the establishment has previous issues with the man (like in 2008) then they have all the right in the world to call the police, especially if he steals. Also the business must enforce these rules or it will become known that they give away soda and they WILL loose money, “give a man an inch and he will go a mile”. The man could have avoided this whole thing if he had just gave the manager a dollar! If he didn’t have the money he could have asked someone kindly. Its stupid to test someone if you are repeatedly in trouble with the law, especially if you know they will call the cops (as they did in 2008)

  4. three strikes law isn’t scary at all if you don’t continually break the law. also knowing there is a three strikes law you would think the guy would try a little harder to not be a criminal. 

  5. who said he was poor?  the manager could have told him no when he asked for the water cup but like you said the old man was thirsty and the manager was nice enough to give him a water cup. then the idiot criminal does what he does and took something he wasn’t supposed to. he was asked to pay for it and refused. It wasn’t  the manager that got him the felony charge. it was his stupidity continued disregard for the law

  6. They gave him a free cup, he stole a $1.00 item. Instead of throwing him in jail at taxpayer expense, they need to harvest some community service out of the guy. Pick up trash for 6 months.

    Do NOT put him in jail. Punishment is for children.

  7. I hate McD and their low quality food!!! They should all be in jail as poisoners of American people!!!!

  8. Johnwayne // April 25, 2012 at 11:38 pm //

    guy wanted free room and board

  9. Dieforit820 // April 25, 2012 at 11:35 pm //

    Look, this isn’t some older guy that got thirsty. He’d been tresspassed from the same location in the past and he has a history of larceny. Good for the manager! When did it stop being black and white? When did grey get so many shades. It’s ok to be liberal but at some point we have to find a place where just not being stupid is what is the norm. Stop making excuses for people.

  10. everybody knows if you work in fast food you get free shit. lets not act ignorant. for 1$.. perhaps it wasnt over the bill, but for the statement, and principals involved in this case.

  11. A local business owner? MC DONALDS IS NOT A LOCAL BUSINESS. ANYONE THAT SELLS DINNER FOR A $1 IS NOT LOCAL.

  12. But, did the manager know he had 2 previous offenses???  NO.  He still called about a one dollar soda.

  13. I am actually surprised at the OWNERS statement.  He says that he is protecting his business and staff.  If he had instructed his manager to act in this manor, it could potentially raise the customer aggrevation level and cause him to become unruley.

  14. Totally misleading story.  He didn’t get charged with a felony for the $1.  He is charged with a felony for another offense on a criminal record.

  15. From the comments I read…looks like most people are missing the point. It’s about the 3 strikes laws…pay attention people!! They are destroying people’s lives.

    He stole pop…oh boy…must be worth locking him up for 5 years? At a cost to the tax payers (ME!) of what?

    The manager is an idiot…the guy is an idiot and the police that charged him and wasted their time charging this man are idiots…The 3 strikes law is scary!

  16. Wanohbee // April 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm //

    sadly, you ordered a Water, you should get water. .  even when the manager tried to be nice and asked the man for $1, and he refused to pay,  that was his 1 chance to make it right.  i side with the restaurant and would call authorities as well.  sh*t aint free

  17. Kwigg1974 // April 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm //

    There is probably more to this story than just a $1 soda.  This same individual was issued a trespass warning at this same McDonald’s in 2008.  It sounds as if there is a history of problems with this individual.

  18. Peterbenoit24 // April 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm //

    Because of the unfavorable attention the manager has drawn to his establishment, he is certain to lose far more than $1 in revenues. I’m not sure which I’m more astonished by: his callousness or his lack of business acumen. A fool and his money are soon parted.

  19. Turtleton // April 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm //

    What has this country come to? Everything is illegal. When you get caught pissing in public you have to register as a sex offender. When you are talking to the police on your cell phone while you are driving it is still a crime. You can’t even voice your opinion on Facebook without  going to jail. I personally will testify on this myself because I went to jail for Facebook Terrorism. Anyways, now I hear a man is going to jail for a dollar soda! WTF?!

  20. Dumb statement Ndpride2008!! How do you know the Mgr. feeds his family for free? How do you know the Mgr. doesn’t pay for his food either? Or maybe it’s company policy that he gets a free meal every shift!!

  21. MarciaF98 // April 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm //

     Hmmm…that comes out to $500. Big deal. I bet you don’t give that much to charity if you give at all.

  22. Pacificokev // April 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm //

    Stealing is stealing. I don’t care if you steal $1 or $999,999. You are still taking something that is not yours and should be punished and harshly because you are a piece of sh**.  That being said, if its $1,000,000 or more then is a heist and that deserves a little respect.

  23. Bushwald Sexyface // April 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm //

    You arrogance is laughable, at best. You act as if 1 dollar will cripple you or any other business owner. Let me tell you, as a business owner myself, it doesn’t. You can try all you’d like to convince people otherwise but it doesn’t hurt you a bit. I donate all the time and it never hurts me. Why? Because I’m not some prick who likes to sound tough in the internet and I know how to manage the money I make.

    As for your first sentence: No shit? Wow, I’m sure many, many people are so happy that you pointed out the one thing that would be categorized as common sense. It’s all coming together now. I can see why someone stealing a dollar’s worth of soda would upset you so much. You can’t run a business worth a shit. If you went to college for anything, you should seek an immediate refund. 

  24. Ndnpride2008 // April 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm //

    so u think the mgr pays everytime he eats a burger or drinks a soda???????? What about when his family comes in and eats????? Thats just company theft within itself, so shouldnt the mgr be in jail for his at least $500 – $1000 bill he has stolen?????????

  25. Ndnpride2008 // April 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm //

    working in the food serving business, i realized how much $ is made from the sodas. it is crazy. but the mgr is an asshole if u ask me, they comp so much food, and i bet the mgr doesnt pay every time he gets a soda, nor does he charge his family or friends when they get one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now we have a citizen in jail for a $1, man please

  26. Vangie_quiason // April 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm //

    so sad that more and more people are becoming callous to the poor.  wow mr. mike adams, i am too disgusted with you. $1 will not even dent your profit or make you any poorer. how can a $1 dollar affect your business? how can a thirsty old poor man be a threat to your business and employees’ safety?
      well, all of us will have our own judgment when we die and for sure God will ask us these questions”Did you give me water when i am thirsty, did you feed me when i am  hungry, ..etc. and if you say no. then, God himself will deny you. do unto others want you want others do unto you. 

  27. It’s a business. They gave the guy a cup for water. A thief is a thief. If he wanted soda he should have paid for it. I bet you think it’s best for this business owner just to give free product to every person who cames in! If he can’t afford a $1.00 soda, he SHOULD drink water then…hell, he should have been charged for the water cup…the story said he went outside to drink the soda, not that he went outside to eat the food he purchased and drink the water. Put his ass, and all other asses like him in jail!

  28. Scgibbs137 // April 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm //

    I’m by no means rich, but please, give me an address and I’ll send this hard-up McDonald’s a buck if it means this whole issue would be dropped with the “soda bandit”.  I know some will say that I need to be more justice-seeking, but c’mon…it barely makes the news when our government pisses away billions of our tax dollars to fund some muslim extremist group or tens of thousands of tax dollars to prosecute petty, frivolous lawsuits, yet no one can pony up a buck for the moron with no social skills.  Hell, my kids spill more than that daily!
    Get a grip, people!

  29. Really? It is not a $1.00 felony. It is a combination of all this guy has done that makes this a felony. I own a restaurant, and it makes me sick when people come in with the sole purpose of not paying for what they consume. You idiots that say “it’s just a soda” do not understand business. The employee “gave” this guy a cup so he could get a drink of water. He chose to upgrade to a soda but didn’t want to pay… put his ass in jail..if this would happen more often, I wouldn’t have to set aside 0.5% of sales to walk outs. On $1 mil of sales, well…you do the math, if you can. 

  30. GET A LIFE // April 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm //

    Who is bringing what country to it’s knees, the last time i checked, the American flag was still flying high upon the flag poll, not at the knees.

    simply put. manager should refuse service to this person. there is nothing indicating that this situation jeopardized the safety of any one. 

    Identify the story, this is a manager at McDonald. (last resort for those with no solid education). desperate and stubborn idiot who took the drink+ petty management = stupid article and outcome. overall the judge is the only one with any real brains here and i doubt this will go that far since the repetition of issues is so far apart from each other.

    Why don’t we become more ridiculous as a nation and make a movie out of this.

  31. Becky Whitman // April 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm //

    Don’t blame the manager

  32. Just hang him already. No tax payer money spent for him to be in jail, his bad manners are no longer a nuisance, and we can set an example for others.  I mean, come on, he had two chances before? 

  33. Antphinfan01 // April 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm //

    i wouldnt of stuck around for the cops…..i woulda poured it upside down on his feet and smiled at him…..

  34. MYBRAINSHURT // April 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm //

    Previous Felonies or not, What if everyone decided to not pay for 1 dollar items anymore?  I bet if he was taking a dollar out of the donation plate at church everyone would just give him a pass i mean its only a dollar right?

  35. wabikeguy // April 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm //

    He allready tried the “told him to leave and never return” a couple of years ago.  That’s where the 2008 trespass came in.

    Dude returned.   Felony stupid.

  36. wabikeguy // April 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm //

    It’s called felony stupid.  Dude had a couple of strikes for being stupid in public allready.  Now he will do prison time.

    Felony stupid…

  37.  There have always been cheepos and always will be. They are not the cause of today’s problems.

  38. by by agian micky d. the last time it was for 12 years over jelly by by

  39. Nineball47 // April 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm //

    if you have already gotten trouble before why set yourself up like that? he is an idiot!

  40.  stealing soda hu.

  41. How much would this 1$ soda cost taxpayers……The double arches make enough money….I am thinking twice about eating there now…..Tired of greedy people blowing up about nothing….

  42. you know our society is in horrible moral shape when so many of you perfect citizens can stand on your high horses and blow your loud horns about an incident that should never have been allowed to happen. As a former mcdonalds and burger king general mgr yes I would have taken a stand with that gentleman  and maybe bared him from my store but no, I would have never had him arrested nor called the police that is not the method that would be supported by our corporate offices, in reality it was only .03 worth of soda and a cup, as a human being I am appaulded that this mgr thought that the only way to handle this situation was to have that man arrested, in my opinion you sir, are a very poor manager!! 

  43. Business_owner // April 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm //

    Actually, Wbascombe, soda’s cost about 4 cents per ounce.  And one stolen soda needs 20 or more sold in order to pay for it.  Try owning a small business before you decide to side with the thief.  If he asked for a water cup, then he should have gotten water.  It seems to me that he had full intentions of getting the free water cup and filling it with soda.  He has done this before.

  44. Manger should have comped the drink, told him to leave & NEVER return.
    I’m not on the man’s side either.  It’s people like him who make it harder for the res of us to just go into a place order what we like, pay & be on our way.  This is what causes businesses to increase costs, cut services & take away self-serve all together which I like cause they always put too much ice in or not give me diet.

  45. Itsabouttime66 // April 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm //

    Yeah but you know murders rapest child preditors dont get that amount of crime. 3 strikes in Fla bull why when something happens they have pages and pages of stuff ans should have been in prison when it accured. hard on wrong people!!

  46. good for him…. if everyone stole a $1 soda, the company would go broke!!!

  47. Orbits34 // April 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm //

    a real manager would have compensated the drink and asked the gentlemen to leave respectfully. I was once a manager in a similar situation only this time it was a cock tail and the lady was in her mid 50’s she didnt want to pay for the drink because she said my bartender would not serve her because she was bumming drinks from others I told the lady she could have the drink and leave the place after. she was an alcoholic and a homeless. these people are still people in our society we must not abandon them I dont suggest we encourage it either but we can show some respect and discipline as well.

  48. Knoll2244 // April 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm //

    george orwell, 1984

  49. Orbits34 // April 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm //

     1% what?

  50. Trumpetmon65 // April 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm //

    I think this is bad, but I also think its good.

  51. Wbascombe // April 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm //

    That’s completely uncalled for, this manager has went overboard. He should of stopped the guy as he filled it or asked for the measly $1 then. The guy is right when he said the sodas are more accessible than the water. Did this manager ever think the guy couldn’t afford anything thats why he asked for the water cup…. come on now I mean its a water cup and the amount of pop that fit in there would be a value of less than $0.01 when you think about how much syrup and carbonated water is used. Protecting he isn’t protecting anyone or anything he is just being a jerk.

  52. serves the guy right!

  53. Mike adams your a freaking douche bag loser. it’s people like you that make Mcdonalds and every other fast food chain suck!

  54. The $1 felon was issued a trespass warning years ago.  It seems that ‘customer’ has been a P.I.T.A. for a while.  How much crap must this McD store take? It’s clearly not about the money.  I appreciate Adams effort to make his store a nicer place for the rest of us. 

  55. Gregtuller // April 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm //

    The guys is a thug he did not learn from his previous
    actions, and Jay and Sebastian it is guys who think like you who have brought this country to its knees.
    If more people just had respect for others and earn something in their life maybe……well why bother I’m sue I’m in the minority here so good bye good old USA! Until they Jay’s and Sebastian’s of the world grow up and realize they are wrong this country will continue to crumble!!!!!

  56. Mandy Ortiz58 // April 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm //

    This is why I don’t go to MC Donald’s now they have the one refill rule

  57. It’s not Adams’ fault that Abaire had 2 strikes on him. Why feel sorry for Abaire, anyway? Now he gets to go to jail where he’ll get free food, free healthcare, etc.

    And don’t you realize that McDonalds makes its money on pop? Everything else they sell, they earn a few cents. It’s only pop that gives them a profit.

    In addition, it’s not Adams fault – blame the judge and jury that want him in jail.

  58. Bigbluemonkey22 // April 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm //

    how does this have to do with our goverment its pedy on both sides guess ppl are really that broke bitchin over 1 dollar 

  59. Clearly someone of the 1%

  60. fuck you mike adams. thats all i have to say, its a fuckng soda… get real man. “to protect you business and keep your customers and employees safe” well personally i think you just opend up a can of worms.

  61. Ridiculousness. This clearly proves the corruption of our government. 

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