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Man Arrested After Leaving Bag of Meth in Restaurant Tip Jar

The 42-year-old told officers that he “hadn’t intended to use the drugs,” because yes, sometimes people just carry a tiny bag of meth with them the way that others carry rabbits’ feet or lucky baseball cards.

by Jelisa Castrodale
27 February 2017, 12:00pm

Photo via Flickr user Dave Dugdale

Famous Dave's is a barbecue restaurant in La Crosse, Wisconsin with a superlative-studded menu that includes its Award Winning Ribs and its Famous Feasts. And, as of this week, it also has what may be the country's Most Notorious Tip Jar, after a patron allegedly left a baggie of meth behind in it on his way out of the restaurant.

According to the La Crosse Tribune, an employee at the restaurant noticed a diner "in a red coat" drop a couple of bucks into the jar. But the Famous Dave's staffer also saw a small baggie filled with a suspicious looking white powder and opted to call the cops rather than calculate whether the street value covered at last 15 percent of the meal cost.

Police officers quickly caught up with Shedrick Bonner—the Famous Dave's bag he was carrying was probably a tip-off —who admitted that he might have been carrying a small amount of meth and he might have dropped it in the restaurant's tip jar. The 42-year-old told officers that he "hadn't intended to use the drugs," because yes, sometimes people just carry a tiny bag of meth with them the way that others carry rabbits' feet or that lucky 1986 Paul Molitor baseball card.

Regardless of his insistence that, like, he was just taking the drugs out for a walk, he was charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Since the Famous Dave's employee called the police, it seems like the barbecue joint isn't going to steal a page from Max Watt's. Last October, the Melbourne, Australia bar was called out on social media—oh, the shame –—after an employee put a note on the tip jar that said "Staff Pinga Fund." (For those of us who are several decades behind in our drug slang, 'pinga' is an Aussie term for ecstasy.)

And, despite Bonner's fumbling drop (and his lame excuse), he's still smoother than a Lowell, Massachusetts man who allegedly stole an entire tip jar from a Subway restaurant, but dropped his heroin stash on his way out the door. He later returned and demanded that employees give his drugs back, but they called the police instead.

Back in Wisconsin, the entrees at Famous Dave's range from around $10 for a Devil's Spit Burger to $60 for a four-to-six-person All American BBQ Feast. That means that patrons should leave anything from $2 to $12 in the tip jar, assuming that they've already spent their meth elsewhere.