Charges Against New York Diner Dropped
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Sep 16, 9:20 AM (ET)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Normally a bad tip results in nothing more than grumbling waiters, but one New Yorker's gratuity ended up costing him a bundle in legal fees.

Humberto Taveras of Roslyn Heights, New York, was arrested and charged with theft of services after failing to pay an 18 percent tip at Soprano's Italian and American Grill in Lake George, N.Y. on Sept. 5.

Taveras said he left a 10 percent tip because the food was not very good.

Now it seems the tempest in a teapot has been resolved.

According to a report in Wednesday's New York Times, Warren County, New York, prosecutors have dropped the charges against Tavares.

Warren County District Attorney Kathleen Hogan said the man could not be forced to pay a gratuity even though the restaurant said tips of 18 percent were mandatory for parties of six or more.

"A tip or gratuity is discretionary, and that's what the courts have found," Hogan told the newspaper.

Tavares told the Times the case cost him several hundred dollars in legal fees.

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