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Italian tourist busted at posh East Side steakhouse for forgetting wallet (Arrested in NYC)
NY Daily News ^ | 1/25/13 | KERRY BURKE AND JOE KEMP

Posted on 01/25/2013 6:58:33 AM PST by jimbo123

Welcome to New York, pal — now go to jail.

An Italian tourist spent his second night in the city behind bars after staff at an upscale East Side steakhouse called cops when he claimed he left his wallet at a friend’s place.

Graziano Graziussi, a 43-year-old lawyer from Naples, is a regular at Smith & Wollensky — but this time, barely 24 hours into his latest two-week stay in New York, he realized he didn’t have his wallet on him when a waiter presented him with the $208 bill Monday night.

“I forgot my wallet,” the clean-cut Graziussi told the waiter — but the staff at the Third Ave. eatery wasn’t buying it, even after Graziussi offered some pricey collateral while he went to get the cash about 30 blocks uptown.

“I was going to leave my iPhone,” he said. “I suggested they bring a bus boy with me. . . . It would have been an easy trip.”

But the general manager called police instead.

(Excerpt) Read more at nydailynews.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: New York
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1 posted on 01/25/2013 6:58:37 AM PST by jimbo123
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To: jimbo123

If you going to go;go big!


2 posted on 01/25/2013 7:00:42 AM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: jimbo123

That will happen in quite a few places. I’ve heard of the local Denny’s doing it to people.

A lot of people use this as a tactic to skip out on their bill.


3 posted on 01/25/2013 7:01:12 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: jimbo123

If that is the full and true story the guy offered collateral of some sort, and would go accompanied to get the cash, then the restaurant are a bunch of hard asses. No wonder less and less people want to visit the USA these days. Its OK, many people don’t want foreigners visiting, but it just means less revenue for everybody stateside, particularly the tourism industry. I swear sometimes it might be renamed the United States of Overreaction (I feel this just about every time I hear the Marine Corps-type yelling of TSA at common citizens). I’d never eat at such a restaurant. A working phone is no small thing to leave behind.


4 posted on 01/25/2013 7:03:21 AM PST by AmericanInTokyo (Global tyrants deserve Mussolini Treatment: Hung up by the heels after the sh*t kicked out of them)
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To: jimbo123

At a gas station in town, someone pumped a full tank of gas and had forgotten their wallet so they left their child while they ran home to get it. Two hours later, the gas station called the cops. When they finally tracked the woman down, she told them she got busy on something else and forgot.


5 posted on 01/25/2013 7:03:35 AM PST by AppyPappy (You never see a massacre at a gun show.)
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To: AppyPappy

Must have been the middle child.


6 posted on 01/25/2013 7:07:11 AM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: driftdiver

Regarding the Wal-Mart of cuisine, Dennys, sure, folks you might see on C.O.P.S., — well, I’ll buy that perhaps. There are a lot of scumbags out there wanting something for free and I can envision such a trick, particularly in this economy and this entitled Obama society. I just do not see it in a foreign tourist coming all the way to the US for a free meal...particularly first time here and all.


7 posted on 01/25/2013 7:07:11 AM PST by AmericanInTokyo (Global tyrants deserve Mussolini Treatment: Hung up by the heels after the sh*t kicked out of them)
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To: AmericanInTokyo
I just do not see it in a foreign tourist coming all the way to the US for a free meal...particularly first time here and all.

The article says he was a regular customer, which makes it even weirder.

8 posted on 01/25/2013 7:14:33 AM PST by Right Brother
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To: AmericanInTokyo

I agree with you completely. The article implied the man was a regular at this restaurant when he came to NYC. Don’t you think the staff would have recognized that fact and allowed him to get the money? I don’t think this man was intending to stiff the restaurant on the bill. Of course he should have brought his wallet but this was a huge overreaction by this restaurant I believe.


9 posted on 01/25/2013 7:15:03 AM PST by dowcaet
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To: AmericanInTokyo
Graziano Graziussi, a 43-year-old lawyer from Naples, is a regular at Smith & Wollensky...

First of all I would have guessed he was Sicilian. But...

It says he was a regular. They wouldn't let him go get his wallet, even after he offered collateral and to be accompanied?

10 posted on 01/25/2013 7:17:28 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: dowcaet

“The article implied the man was a regular at this restaurant when he came to NYC. Don’t you think the staff would have recognized that fact and allowed him to get the money? I don’t think this man was intending to stiff the restaurant on the bill. Of course he should have brought his wallet but this was a huge overreaction by this restaurant I believe.”

And maybe the article’s working hard to create that impression, telling us the offender is “clean-cut”.


11 posted on 01/25/2013 7:17:28 AM PST by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: AmericanInTokyo
If that is the full and true story the guy offered collateral of some sort, and would go accompanied to get the cash, then the restaurant are a bunch of hard asses.

In the middle of the dinner shift, I am supposed to tell a paid employee to abandon his work station to accompany a deadbeat on a wild goose chase?

Give me a break.

And what am I going to do with someone else's phone as collateral? Sell it on the black market? Go to the service provider and explain to them that I want it deactivated from its current user without his authorization and transferred to me? Which restaurant employee gets the used phone? Do they all share it? Not to mention that a used previous generation iPhone with no plan costs less online that the $200+ check this guy skipped out on.

Come on.

No wonder less and less people want to visit the USA these days.

If you look at the statistics, more and more people visit the US every year. Don't invent "facts" to bolster your weak argument.

And if an American tried to pull a similar stunt in Italy, he'd get the cops called on him too.

And it would have absolutely zero impact on any rational American's desire to visit Italy.

I can't believe the sob stories FReepers fall for sometimes.

12 posted on 01/25/2013 7:21:07 AM PST by wideawake
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To: jimbo123

He should have checked to see if he had his wallet before he ordered anything.


13 posted on 01/25/2013 7:24:08 AM PST by rightwingintelligentsia (Be careful of believing something just because you want it to be true.)
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To: wideawake

“It’s so crowded that nobody goes there any more.”

(I think this is one of Yogi’s)


14 posted on 01/25/2013 7:26:21 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

And how would I as a restaurant owner know or care who the person was or where they were from and whether they had been here before.

Plenty of “high class” wealthy people are thieves.

Yes it sucks, and they are getting plenty of bad press over it. As a business owner who has had customers bail on their bill I can’t say I blame them too much.


15 posted on 01/25/2013 7:26:27 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: BykrBayb

Let’s just say alcohol was involved.

“I need to get some gas to go to the drink house but I need a babysitter for little LaPancreas. Oh wait.....”.


16 posted on 01/25/2013 7:28:28 AM PST by AppyPappy (You never see a massacre at a gun show.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Especially if, as the story said, the man was a regular at the restaurant.


17 posted on 01/25/2013 7:28:52 AM PST by DoodleDawg
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To: jimbo123

A few years back, my wife and I were traveling and stopped at a motel in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. I left my wife in the motel room and went to fill the gas tank. Forgot my wallet and didn’t even think about it until the gas tank was full. I was a couple of miles from the motel and figured I’d have to walk back to get my wallet but the attendant told me to just drive back, get it and then come and pay for my gas, no collateral, just my word. Boy, did I ever stiff that guy!

.

.

.

.

.

.

Just kidding, I went back and paid for my gas.


18 posted on 01/25/2013 7:29:44 AM PST by Graybeard58
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To: jimbo123

If the guido’s story is legit then the friend could have been called and asked to bring the wallet.


19 posted on 01/25/2013 7:30:07 AM PST by WinMod70
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To: treetopsandroofs
The article implied the man was a regular at this restaurant

I noticed that too. Most people reading the article don't realize that this is not really a neighborhood restaurant.

It's a steakhouse that caters to a business crowd - I've probably been there 50 or so times, just because it's a "default" option for client dinners, and I doubt the staff would recognize me.

The place is generally packed, turnover is high, and most parties are 6 or more. Not a place where you linger wistfully with a bottle of wine and chat with the waiters - it's a fast-paced joint.

20 posted on 01/25/2013 7:30:25 AM PST by wideawake
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To: dowcaet

Define a regular when he visits NYC. Most likely, he eats there once or twice a year when he visits. This is not Mayberry, where someone new stands out like a sore thumb.


21 posted on 01/25/2013 7:31:27 AM PST by SengirV
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To: jimbo123

“What’sa matta you, hey
Gotta no respect, whatta you think you do
Why you looka so sad?
It’s-a not so bad, it’s-a nice-a place
Ah, shaddap you face”

-JOE DOLCE


22 posted on 01/25/2013 7:32:29 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

I believe in this instance the customer was legit. But this restaurant and others have been burned at least once too often. It has nothing to do with foreigners or where the customer came from. It had to do with where his wallet was or wasn’t.

In a restaurant, eating a meal then suddenly discovering you don’t have your wallet is pretty unacceptable behavior. If they had let the guy go and he never came back, and they had even one or two customers a week pull that stunt, they are out their tight profit margins. It’s no different than shoplifting which stores prosecute vigorously for very small amounts of $.

What real value would his cell have if he skipped out? Sell it on craigslist for less than the dinner tab? Maybe he could have called his host and asked him/her to bring his wallet to the restaurant instead of his leaving to get it, as he wanted to do? It’s unfortunate when honest people get caught up in a situation like this, but businesses, especially restaurants, have to deal with too many con artists.


23 posted on 01/25/2013 7:34:24 AM PST by EDINVA
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To: jimbo123

never expect sympathy in New York City.


24 posted on 01/25/2013 7:34:36 AM PST by PGR88
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To: driftdiver

If they’re doing it to regulars, then they are pretty dumb, in my opinion. People don’t skip out on bills at restaurants that they frequent with regularity. What’s the point? They’ll just want you to pay the next time you are there.


25 posted on 01/25/2013 7:37:07 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: driftdiver
A lot of people use this as a tactic to skip out on their bill.

Leaving a stolen i-phone as security, no doubt.

26 posted on 01/25/2013 7:37:50 AM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed &water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: jimbo123

Why is this a story... this is an everyday event.


27 posted on 01/25/2013 7:38:01 AM PST by Mashood
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To: Right Brother

‘The article says he was a regular customer, which makes it even weirder.’

Good thing he wasn’t carrying a 32oz soda or the charge would have been aggravated robbery.


28 posted on 01/25/2013 7:39:11 AM PST by Delta Dawn (at)
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To: jimbo123

No steak dinner is worth $200. The owners are the ones who are making out like bandits.


29 posted on 01/25/2013 7:39:25 AM PST by txrefugee
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To: jimbo123

Graziano Graziussi, a 43-year-old lawyer from Naples...

He says he's 43? I wouldn't beleive anything else he says. ;)

30 posted on 01/25/2013 7:39:52 AM PST by Half Vast Conspiracy (Based on a letter from an 8 year old…school is now illegal…”cuz it’s yuckey and dumb".)
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To: jimbo123

I feel for the guy, but what’s the restaurant supposed to do? I cannot imagine the number of customers this place gets in a week. It’s harsh, but I can’t blame the restaurant manager.


31 posted on 01/25/2013 7:43:03 AM PST by opus86 (Enjoy it, America - it's what you wanted.)
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To: driftdiver

“And how would I as a restaurant owner know or care who the person was or where they were from and whether they had been here before.”

Well, many restaurant owners are quite hands on, they know their regular customers because that is their bread and butter, so they take care of them. The waitstaff certainly knows the regulars, and whether they are good tippers or not.


32 posted on 01/25/2013 7:43:20 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: Graybeard58

One its a small town of friendly people.

Second, he had you and your license plate on video.


33 posted on 01/25/2013 7:44:13 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: WinMod70

“If the guido’s story is legit then the friend could have been called and asked to bring the wallet.”

Good point and one that I glossed over. You are of course spot on, especially considering that he had his Iphone with him!


34 posted on 01/25/2013 7:50:12 AM PST by CSM (Keeper of the Dave Ramsey Ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: Half Vast Conspiracy

Hey,I hada a harda a life!


35 posted on 01/25/2013 7:51:40 AM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: Boogieman

“They’ll just want you to pay the next time you are there.”

Very true. In my pre-Dave Ramsey days, there was a local tavern that I would frequent quite regularly. Usually, I had cash and would pay as I was consuming, however on one particularly celebratory night I started a tab and completely forgot about it. They certainly had it ready for me and of course carried over the LARGE tip for the bartender that worked that evening!

I was rather appreciative that they kept it for me and told me about it, rather than to take any other action or to just be bitter against me on future visits!

;-)


36 posted on 01/25/2013 7:54:59 AM PST by CSM (Keeper of the Dave Ramsey Ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: jimbo123

This story is in the NY Post as well, and probably in the news in and around NYC. This is not good press for Smith & Wollensky ... the $200.00 is just a fraction of the money they will lose as a result.


37 posted on 01/25/2013 7:55:53 AM PST by BluH2o
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To: JimRed

I want to get paid, I don’t want a cell phone. What the heck am I going to do with a cell phone???


38 posted on 01/25/2013 7:57:26 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Boogieman

Its NYC, regular is a broad term. Is he there twice a year or twice a week.

I’d wager its twice a year.


39 posted on 01/25/2013 7:59:17 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: BluH2o

I doubt it will impact their business in the slightest.


40 posted on 01/25/2013 8:01:04 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: JimRed
Leaving a stolen i-phone as security, no doubt.

(1) If a con artist offers to leave a phone, frequently the mark will not actually take him up on it, either because it makes the scammer seem more trsutworthy or the mark thinks "what am I going to do with this phone, what a hassle" or both.

(2) Pretty much every legitimate phone comes with a replacement option if it's lost, so as long as you're scamming an amount of money that is larger than the replacement plan cost, you're still in the black even if you didn't get away with as much as you hoped.

41 posted on 01/25/2013 8:03:05 AM PST by wideawake
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To: txrefugee

Maybe. I eat at Wollensky’s grill, which is next door. They serve a hamburger for $17.50. It is every bit as good as you would expect an $18 hamburger to be.


42 posted on 01/25/2013 8:05:50 AM PST by Publius Valerius
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To: BluH2o
the $200.00 is just a fraction of the money they will lose as a result.

They will not lose a cent of business.

The place is packed every day.

And also their customers are not really individuals - they are firms: banks, law firms, consulting firms, etc.

If I were a banker taking out 10 clients for a steak, am I going to care about this one deadbeat's sob story and change my plans? Not in the slightest.

Will the clients, who are getting a free meal on my firm's expense line, care at all about this deadbeat's sob story either? No chance.

New Yorkers know that people scam restaurants all the time.

43 posted on 01/25/2013 8:08:45 AM PST by wideawake
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To: driftdiver

I know the manager of a supermarket he’s said the same thing.

One of their regular customers stiffed them several times with the same story.

Never seemed to remember to bring the money after she got the groceries home.

It wasn’t as if she didn’t have the money to pay, she did. In fact she was quite wealthy.

She was just a thief.


44 posted on 01/25/2013 8:15:00 AM PST by IMR 4350
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To: Graybeard58
My wife once bought about $250 in groceries, but the debit system in the Publix store was down and she didn't have the checkbook.

She asked them to please keep the cart of bagged groceries, so that she could fetch the checkbook from home and come back to get them. The store manager suggested that she instead take the groceries home, put the cold things away, and then come back and give them a check. No ID was even asked for. Now it was a good neighborhood, but I was stunned at the level of trust.

Another time when in Naples, Italy, I and a friend went to dinner. When the bill came, we discovered that they did not take VISA. We only had enough cash to cover about 70% of the bill. We asked for the owner and explained our mistake, offering that one of us would stay, while the other retrieved more cash. The nice woman, looked over our bill and told us that the 70% we had would cover our bill. It was a nice and unexpected offer. Had I had the opportunity, I would have returned with the other 30% later, but ship movement prevented it.

45 posted on 01/25/2013 8:15:40 AM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: treetopsandroofs
maybe the article’s working hard to create that impression, telling us the offender is “clean-cut”.

But that point is neutralized earlier, as they also said he was a lawyer.

46 posted on 01/25/2013 8:21:13 AM PST by Michael.SF. (Obama lied, Stevens died.)
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To: wideawake
to accompany a deadbeat

He's not a deadbeat. He forgot his wallet.

Give me a break.

No, I don't think I will. You're the manager of a famous restaurant, at a prominent Manhattan location. You have years of experience dealing with people, serving high-end customers and taking care of special needs. Being a people person, you have a certain flair for handling awkward situations and for being a good judge of who deserves your patience and who doesn't. If the Italian diner doesn't deserve a break, then neither does the manager who so royally screwed up. Because life is hard and unforgiving and we don't make special allowances for other people's stupid blunders -- even when they mean well. Right?

And what am I going to do with someone else's phone as collateral?

Take good care of it till he gets back. Do you think the guy's a street punk swiping people's phones? Clearly it's an expensive device and full of data the man will want to get back. It's reasonable evidence of his bona fides.

Come on.

No, you come on. The manager proved to be a bad judge of character, playing the New York hard ass and grossly insulting a guest over a paltry $208 check (at a restaurant that must gross $75,000 every day). He should be fired.

47 posted on 01/25/2013 8:22:46 AM PST by Romulus
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To: SampleMan

Just the other week I was at the grocery store checkout, the total was over $150 and when I opened my purse, my wallet was missing. I suspected I had left it on the seat of my car and not left it a home since I had gotten gas before going to the grocery store. Of course, unlike an already consumed restaurant meal, after telling the clerk, I left the already bagged groceries at the checkout went out to my car and came back and paid. The clerk however seemed more than a little annoyed and being that I am a regular customer at that store, I didn’t really appreciate her attitude.


48 posted on 01/25/2013 8:22:46 AM PST by MD Expat in PA
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To: wideawake

All while wolfing down the prime steaks and toasting each other for the latest bank fee they put over on everyone.


49 posted on 01/25/2013 8:23:29 AM PST by JohnnyP
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To: driftdiver

True. I wouldn’t consider that a regular, but maybe the writer or the guy in the story does. As far as I’m concerned, if the host and waitstaff doesn’t know you on sight, you’re not a regular.


50 posted on 01/25/2013 8:27:01 AM PST by Boogieman
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