Natalie Walters is looking at a two-day trial and potentially six months in jail. Her crime? She poured a soda on the counter of a cafeteria at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Boise, Idaho.
U.S. Attorney Tom Moss is pursuing her conviction with remarkable vigor.
Walters says that she was upset when the cafeteria charged her $3.80 for a refill on her Diet Coke that usually costs $1 or $1.50. She routinely used the cafeteria when bringing her elderly father for visits.
She said that she asked to speak with a manager and when he told her that the price was right. She then said that she wanted to return the soda but was told that she could not. She had to buy it (which seems a bit curious). She then got angry and entered the realm of a fast-food felon by pouring the soda on the counter. The manager told her never to come back and she thought it was over — particularly after staying in the hospital for hours without any further problems.
The next day, her father returned for a dental appointment and was told to have his daughter called the hospital. It appears that they had accessed his medical files to track her down. She was later told by a reporter that Moss had filed criminal charges.
The criminal complaint alleges that she ” … intentionally pouring soft drink beverage from a large mug over the cash register and onto the floor during a disagreement with the cashier over payment.”
It was a good thing that this was not a Big Gulp at 7Eleven — she would be looking at 10 to 20 years on a chain gang.
Ironically, if convicted, she will get her cokes for free, though she will be denied refills. in the meantime, the Justice Department has so little crime to prosecute that it will force a two-day trial and possibly incarcerate an individual for less than $4. I expect that the case will be added to narcotics figures as a “coke case.”