MIDDLETOWN, RI (WPRI) – A man suspected of skipping the check at multiple restaurants has been arrested and faces charges in multiple cities.
Anthony Addesa, 58, of Palm Beach, Fla., was arrested Friday in Woonsocket for obtaining food with intent to defraud, Middletown police say. Those charges came from Middletown, police said.
In a Facebook post On Thursday, Middletown police said they were investigating a suspect who “has frequented local hotels and restaurants throughout Aquidneck Island.”
Police said they received a complaint from Tito’s Cantina on West Main Road last Thursday that a man consumed food and drink, then got up and left without paying the bill.
Two days earlier, the department said it had received a similar complaint from Ida’s on Valley Road.
Addesa, according to police, was identified through surveillance video and later admitted to investigators that he “actually went to Ida’s house and left without paying”.
After being questioned by police on Friday, Addesa also admitted to eating and drinking at Fieldstones Grille on East Main Road in Portsmouth and not paying his check there.
As a result, Portsmouth Police also charged him with obtaining food with the intent to defraud.
Ashley Kempenaar served the alleged suspect last week. She remembers a man coming in and saying he was a polo player playing nearby. He then struck up a conversation with another woman at the bar.
“They exchanged phone numbers, took her out like he was a gentleman,” Kempenaar said. “She thought he was really nice, thought nothing of it. Racked up a $70 bill, never came back.
“Just kind of wondering who the people are,” she added.
Kempenaar says that with the help of a customer to whom the man gave his number, the restaurant actually made contact with the man before involving the police.
“He ended up texting, saying, ‘I had a family emergency. I’ll be back and I’ll pay,’ never to be heard from again,” she said.
“We tried to say, you know, ‘We’re going to press charges, you have to come back’ and, like, ‘You have to pay your tab.’ I never heard of it again,” Kempenaar added.
field stones posted on incident Tuesday, saying a man popped on a $70 lunch tab, hoping to make an ID.
“Some other restaurants had private messaged me, I think we might be onto the same guy,” Kempenaar said.
Kempenaar says she’s personally taking extra precautions now, asking customers who can get out to take a phone call or run to their car to give the restaurant a credit card they can hold on to.
“Now I’m still guessing every time someone gets off work and takes a phone call outside that it’s going to happen again,” she added.
Captain Michael Faria told 12 News Middletown Police are aware of other similar cases in Newport and Portsmouth, and they are working to see if there is a link.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Adam Tobias at (401) 846-1144 ext. 7009.