July 1, 2009

Man arrested three times in just over week

Authorities in Louisiana say a man was arrested three times in a little more than a week for allegedly repeating the same crime -- not paying a restaurant bill.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said Michael Bryant, 36, of Tucson, Ariz., was first arrested June 22 after he refused to pay a $23 check at Melancon's Annex in Metairie, La., The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Wednesday.

Bryant was released but then sent back to jail a few days later when he refused to pay a check at Pitre's Restaurant in Westwego. Once again he was released. His third arrest came Monday when he refused to pay his bill at Sun Ray Grill near Gretna.

Officials said Bryant was released because overcrowding at the jail requires many non-violent offenders to be freed to make way for those accused of violent crimes.

Bryant, who was charged with defrauding an innkeeper, was being held Tuesday in Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in lieu of $1,000 bond.