Wisconsin police arrested a man who allegedly tried to trick a group of Denny’s employees into thinking he was their new manager before proceeding to cook a meal for himself.
According to the very ‘animated’ police report detailing the situation, 52-year-old James B. Summers — wearing a coat and tie and claiming to be a 30-year corporate veteran of the popular restaurant chain — walked into a Denny’s restaurant in Madison, WI last Tuesday (Feb 21) and told the workers that he not only wanted a free cheeseburger meal, but he also wanted to cook and prepare it himself.
The following play-by-play incident report tells the story best:
He never announced he was one of the pros from Dover, but the briefcase toting gentleman wearing a maroon tie and long black trench coat was quite clear: he had been sent by corporate. He claimed he was the new general manager, that he had worked for the restaurant chain for 30-years and was starting his new job – right now.
The gray haired stranger with the goatee had just arrived yesterday afternoon, unannounced, at the private office door of the restaurant manager. She was in the process of counting the day’s receipts at the Denny’s on Thierer Rd.
Surprised, and a bit shocked, the 38-year old thought, surely, this must be a mistake. She had heard nothing from corporate about a new general manager, and politely told the man so. Perhaps, she indicated to him, you have arrived at the wrong restaurant.
This conversation developed into a tête-à-tête or a “nose to nose,” to quote the manager, as the man asserted his new role as she told him she thought not. This went on until he said it was final, he was going to commence his duties.
It was at this point, the manager began making calls up-the-chain. She was able to reach the man in charge of all hiring at her location. By this time the new “GM” had left the office, but not the restaurant, and she had shut the office door in order to carry out this important, private conversation.
While on the phone, she waved off kitchen staff as they rapped on her door, trying to get her attention. She was not to be interrupted while talking with corporate. What cook staff wanted her to know was that the new “GM” was in the process of cooking himself up a cheeseburger and fries, and that he had gotten himself a soda.
He was in the midst of dining when she let him know the gig was up, that she had talked with corporate, and he was no new hire. Unfazed, he continued to brush off her remarks, saying she just had not yet gotten the memo.
It was about this time the manager called 911.When the responding officer arrived, he saw the suspect walking away from the restaurant. Upon contact, he told the officer there had been a great misunderstanding, that he was the new GM, but there must have been a paperwork goof-up. He agreed to respond back to the restaurant so both sides could present their case.
The manager prevailed and the man was arrested. The officer found, beneath the trench coat, and a suit jacket, that he was packing a stun gun on his belt.
The officer asked the suspect if he had a concealed carry permit. The man replied, “It’s in the pipeline.”
He was cooperative with the officer, but as he was about to be led from the restaurant, he yelled out to those eating: “This is why you don’t dine and dash kiddies.”
Sound advice from a clearly unsound man.
The colorfully-written police report was drafted up by journalist turned officer Joel DeSpain, a former CBS affiliate employee, who says he likes to have a little fun with these usually boring reports from time to time.
“This one kind of wrote itself,” he told The Huffington Post. “Most days I’m knee-deep in stuff that’s not so humorous. But occasionally we’ll get one like this.”
“What’s funny is that this guy could have gone into any restaurant in town, but he wanted a Denny’s cheeseburger. … He was no stranger to the kitchen,” DeSpain added.
According to NBC News, cops also found James B. Summers in possession of what appeared to be two crack pipes, and he was arrested on charges of fraud, possession of an electric weapon, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.
And the poor guy didn’t even get to finish his meal.
“He only got to eat about three-quarters of the cheeseburger,” Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain told msnbc.com. “I don’t know if he had 30 years with Denny’s, but he probably has had experience cooking a cheeseburger in the past.”