A 50-year-old Lithuanian man, known as Aidas J., has been arrested in Spain for repeatedly faking heart attacks to dodge paying his bills at various restaurants.
The man, who lives in Alicante, a port city in the southeast of Spain, would pose as a “typical Russian tourist” and order expensive dishes and drinks before pretending to collapse on the floor.
According to Spain’s EFE news agency, Aidas was first caught for his scams in Nov. 2022 and his most recent arrest was on Sept. 19, 2023.
In his latest scam, he went to El Buen Comer, a restaurant in the historic district of Alicante, and ordered a seafood paella and two whiskeys, which amounted to about $36.80
When he finished his meal, he tried to leave without paying, but was stopped by the staff. He then claimed he had to go back to his hotel to get the money, but soon after he said he felt “unwell” and threw himself to the ground.
“It was very theatrical, he pretended to faint and slumped himself down on the floor,” Moisés Doménech, the owner of El Buen Comer, told the US Sun.
The staff did not fall for his act and called the police, who recognized him from his previous arrests and took him into custody. Aidas confirmed his identity to the police and asked for an ambulance, but the officers checked that he was fine and took him to the police station.
Aidas, who usually wore designer clothes and spoke in a mix of languages, had a preference for Russian Salad, “which he seems to like quite a bit,” an officer told EFE news agency.
One of the officers who arrested Aidas several times said that he smiled when the police arrived and “he sees himself unpunished,” because he did not mind spending a few days in jail before his short trial before the judge.
Doménech has shared Aidas’ photo with other nearby restaurants to warn them not to serve him.
Several of the local restaurants have filed a joint criminal complaint against Aidas, seeking that he be jailed for up to two years.
Aidas has been sentenced to 42 days in prison for two unpaid fines.