Queen Violet WeHo, an Asian fusion restaurant located at 8543 Santa Monica Blvd., is getting the word out and warning local restaurants of an alleged dine and dasher who has struck the restaurant several times.
“Dine & Dash suspect strikes again!!!” Reads a post on their Instagram account on June 24th. “To all restaurant customers, owners & staff, please be on the lookout for the man in the picture. He told us that his name is JESSIE ANTHONY MEDRANO. And can be found on Facebook. But we all don’t know if it’s his. Mr. Medrano has struck several times at various restaurants. His routine is the same, after he gets the check, he will say he left his wallet and phone at home, has no cash, card, nor ID and then he just leaves. He keeps getting away with this, but maybe some social media attention about this guy will make it harder for him to show his face. He is working hard for his bad reputation, so let’s give him the negative publicity he deserves!!”
This isn’t the first time Queen Violet WeHo has been targeted by people who dine and then dash without paying for their meal. This past January, they put five individuals on blast who ate, complained about their meal, and only paid a portion of it before leaving the restaurant.
They posted a video of the entire incident.
“Be on the lookout for these 5 individuals who may be habitual dine-n-dashers,” warns Queen Violet WeHo, an Asian Fusion Restaurant located at 8543 Santa Monica Blvd. #wehotimes #weho
— WEHO TIMES (@WEHO_TIMES) January 31, 2023
“On Saturday January 28, 2023, these customers made bogus complaints and took off after shortchanging us on the bill for half the amount,” reads a post. “See the attached videos showing them leave the table abruptly and walking away from their ride and the driver taking off when we approached the car. Diners, please alert the wait staff if you see these people. Restaurant owners and staff, be on alert if you recognize these people dining at your establishment and if they start to complain about everything for no apparent reason.”
“If you walk out of a California restaurant or bar without paying your bill – ‘dine and dash’ as it is often called – you are committing a crime and could land in jail,” says attorney Neil Shouse, of Shouse California Law Group.
Under Section 537(a), it is a California criminal offense to:
“…Obtain any food, fuel, services, or accommodations at a hotel, inn, restaurant, boardinghouse, lodging house, apartment house, bungalow court, motel, marina, marine facility, auto camp, ski area, or public or private campground, without paying therefor, with intent to defraud the proprietor or manager thereof”
However, in order for leaving without paying to be a crime, it must have been done “with the intent to defraud.”
According to Shouse, the penalties upon conviction for a violation of Section 537 depend on the size of the tab: If the value of the credit, food and beverages is $950 or less, you could be fined up to $1,000 and/or sentenced to up to six months in county jail. If the value of the credit, food and beverages is greater than $950, you could be sentenced to one to three years in county jail.
When asked if Queen Violet WeHo management called the West Hollywood Sheriff’s to file a report regarding the January incident, a representative told WEHO TIMES they did not make the call because, “we think police is going to do nothing. It’s a small claim.”