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August 11, 2010

Man faked seizures to get out of restaurant tabs

City prosecutors say that for three months, 43-year-old Andrew Palmer dined and drank at city restaurants but never paid a tab - by faking seizures.

Palmer, of the 500 block of South Broadway pleaded guilty to one count of theft scheme on Aug. 3 and received 18 months in jail, the maximum sentence.

Prosecutors say Palmer dined at restaurants including Capital Grille, Burke's Cafe, Ding How Restaurant, Maisy's Restaurant, and Borinken Bar and Restaurant between April 26 and July 21. In each case, he feigned a seizure requiring the presence of medical personnel.

We're working to get the court file to figure out just how investigators caught on to the scheme. But these were hardly Palmer's first offenses - in fact, I'm not sure I've seen a criminal record quite this long.

According to the Maryland judiciary case search web site, Palmer has been charged with theft or other crimes an astounding 89 times, with at least 34 convictions, in jurisdictions including Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Prince George's County, Anne Arundel and St. Mary's.

And among those charges is "eating in a public place without paying" and "refusing to pay taxi cab fare." Almost all of the cases were for theft under $100, and when convicted he received jail stints of 90 days. His most serious crimes were committed in the early 1990s, when he was convicted of arson and later was sentenced to five years for robbery in Anne Arundel County.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 9:46 AM | | Comments (30)


Love this. Interview restaurant managers/witnesses! Do a full story!

Check with the medical personnel. Any worth their salt will know that he was faking it.

This guy's not only a fraud, he's not even original! This was a Three Company's episode from 20 years ago where Jack saved a guy "choking" at a restaurant. The guy was a scam artist on the hunt for a free dinner... like the guy in Baltimore. Prosecute!

he got me and another bartender at the restaurant i work at - both of those were 4 or so years ago. when the paramedics showed upped they knew his name. when i him in the bathroom he was face down under the urinal...clearly this guy has a major mental deficiency. we never did anything but i'm glad to see that he has been prosecuted at least some of the time.

Why bother prosecuting him, Jessamy will just let him back on the streets. Save the city some money and just let him continue to do "his thing"!

From the article: "Palmer, of the 500 block of S. Broadway St...."
Where is S. Broadway St.? I know of BROADWAY, but not Broadway Street and 2nd...where is there any housing on that block? That's all shops or vacant shops last time I checked

Check out his rap sheet on md court cases. Mighty impressive

great that he goes to jail for 18 months. Now he gets free food.
Let's say he stole $40 of food on 10 occasions. Does anyone else think that 18 months is too harsh?

My favorite is the party of 6 or more all out simulated brawl to get kicked out of restaurants. These folks should be on WWE or something. Last I saw it done was at Shula's.

as a mother with a child with a very rare and progressive seizure disorder, this is an outrage! I wish there was someway to make him have a REAL and TRUE seizure.....I would guarantee he wouldn't do it again. This just disgusts me.

I would be willing to bet a woman squealed him out

I've seen this man do it at a bar in canton, all the police and EMTs knew of him. The real problem here is that the emergency response people still have to come, not only wasting tons of tax payer money, but preventing the responders from attending serious needs in the community. As soon as they got him out of the restaurant he said he was fine and didn't need to go to the hospital but they took him anyway. Anyone know what a rid in an ambulance costs these days, not cheap! and i bet he didn't pay that bill either.

There is this great new invention for career criminals like him. It's called JAIL. Why isn't he locked up? Why aren't the courts taking fraud seriously? And what if someone died because an ambulance was delayed, being tied up dealing with this nut's antics? JAIL !!!

Kastanza!! Sounds like something George would have done for sure!

GroundsKeeper Medical personnel can never assume anyone is "faking it". He needs to pay for those medical responses as well. Taking an engine company and an Ambulance out of service while someone with a real need has to wait for the next closest unit. This piece of crap is personally responsible for FD layoffs in the city.

Let's face it. Most of us are mad that we didn't think of this first. A free meal along with a medical checkup. I love it

I'm not for a 3 strikes law but I am in favor of a 30 strikes law for this guy. lock him up for good

Sparky, not harsh enough this man may very well have cost some thier life. Lets say your relitive was having a stroke and the extra five minutes the person cuase the emt's to get your relitive cost that person their life.. Not to mention the resurces wastes on him everytime 9121 was called. Lets say what happen in AA co happen and the ambulance hit aonther car and several people were killed. That sounds like murder to me.

Sounds like the same man that pulled this scam in a bar that I work at. I was truly amazed when one of the EMTs recognized him and the police still didn't arrest him, despite my persistence. His acting was so terrible that the EMT were chuckling at one point when they pinched him and he stopped mid seizure and exclaimed "Ow". However, one of the huge issues that has not been identified is the enormous misuse of funding and personnel to handle all the 911 calls made for this scam! His acts should be considered a theft of over $100 if you include the medical bills.

Too bad he couldn't mix it up, sort of like Chuck's book "Choke"

Other then the three company's show of the same thing I seen a movie where a guy would do the same thing only thing he would fake that he was choking and let people save and they would give him money and pay his bills , but hats off to this guy for having the balls.

Just looked it up on Maryland case search...holy crap, that is a long record!

Criminal? Are you kidding? This is better than most stuff on TV, especially those scripted reality shows. He is the real deal. He should have his own show!

I worked a played in Fells Point during the early ninties and this guy was doing the same thing then. He's a career criminal. LMAO I can't believe he's not already in jail.

"Let's say he stole $40 of food on 10 occasions."

Why would we say that? It is reported that he used this scam over an 86 day span. Why couldn't we say he stole on 80 ocassions?

And where do you get $40? I'd like to see you eat and drink at the Capitol grill for $40.

"Does anyone else think that 18 months is too harsh?"

Doesn't look that way. As noted by several along with the cost of the goods and services he stole, yeah, no tip for any one who waited on him, he also stole emergency services and thereby risked the lives of those truly in meed.

90 arrests, a life of stealing from "the little guy" (wait staff and taxi drivers). Why would you think 18 months (which means serving less than a year) too harsh?

Although, this fraud will have to serve jail time, he should still be required to reimburse the restaurants and the City of Baltimore for thier services. This goof tied up paramedics with his non-sense placing medical services in harms way for folks who really need it.

I'm 38, I'v had seziures since i was 1 1/2 yrs old. What this man did was appauling. At the same time the state of Maryland has decided in their "Great Wisdom" to give this man free "Food" "Shelter" & "Clothing" for 18 months all at the taxpayers expence. This to me seems moronic. If they want to make an example of him as i think they should, Mabey making him preform community service at every place he stole from and for fire, ambulance, and police depts. wearing a t-shirt that says "I FAKED A SEZIURE SO I COULD STEAL FROM U" would be a better punishment and not waste to much tax dollars we already don't have.

i like keeping up with my hometown news.

HEY That guy did the SAME EXACT THING when I was Bartending days at the Midtown Yacht Club.....

This guy seems to be running a lot , all the free meal he had. He never grow fat after all these free meals.

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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