Police end man’s ‘drink and ditch’ spree across the Wasatch Front

WEBER COUNTY, Utah — A Texas man is accused of hitting up bars across the Wasatch Front, racking up a tab, then ditching on the bill -- costing bartenders hundreds of dollars.

Each bar says they know it's the same man, because of the drink he apparently prefers and the way in which he ditches out.

At least eight bars and restaurants in West Valley, Layton and Ogden told Fox 13 similar drink-n-dash stories.

They all go a little like this: Man walks into a bar, orders shots of Rumple Minz and a Budweiser, maybe some food. Sometimes he's generous and offers to buy shots for nearby patrons. Rock Bottom and Harp and Hound in Ogden both recounted how the man, who called himself Paul or 'Paulie,' even told the same stories in his New York accent and talked about being a truck driver.

"He was talking about being like a Navy SEAL at one point," Rock Bottom bartender Robert Alldridge said.

The man is seen on the Harp and Hound surveillance cameras chatting it up with those around him.

"He was just a nice, friendly guy," Harp and Hound general manager Jaime Dyer said.

Nice and friendly, until it came time for the check.

Each bar said the man would present a fake cashier's check that he claimed was from his trucking company, then find a way to sneak out or make an excuse to suddenly leave.

Some bartenders said they tried chasing him down. Others called police. Each time, they said the man disappeared and they didn't know his full name to find him.

The bartenders were then left paying the tab-- which ranged from $30 to $150.

"I was a little pissed off," Alldridge said. He had to front $108 for the man's bill. "I really kind of wanted to see the guy get what he deserves."

The drink-n-ditch spree came to an end Wednesday night, when Outlaw in Weber County said a man came in, and began ordering that trademark Rumple Minz shot.

He proceeded to order shots for everyone else in the bar, they said.

"Eight shots of Rumple Minz, a Bud bottle, shot of Patron," bartender Ginny Donaghy listed off, as she went over the $53 receipt. The man also ordered taquitos.

At some point, Outlaw received a call about the man.

"He had actually skipped out on a tab at another establishment," Donaghy explained.

They called the Weber County Sheriff's Office, and kept the man occupied until deputies arrived. Sergeant Courtney Ryan said they arrested Paul Jordan of Texas.

Jordan, he indicated, had visited Cactus Reds across from Outlaw and drank $150 in alcohol before pulling out the fake cashier's check and leaving.

"He had no other means of paying for the alcohol that he had purchased," Ryan said.

Jordan is now in the Weber County jail on two theft of services charges.

Ryan said they connected their case to one at 'Bout Time Pub and Grub in Ogden. Ogden Police confirmed Thursday that Jordan is the suspect in that case, and that Jordan left behind a bill of $150 on October 9.

'Bout Time in West Valley told Fox 13 Jordan had also been to their establishment.

"Apparently he's been doing this quite frequently up and down the Wasatch Front," Ryan said.

Ryan is now asking for any other bars or restaurants with similar stories to report the incidents to police.

Rock Bottom and Harp and Hound said they didn't initially call police. Alldridge indicated he felt he didn't have enough info for police to find the person, and Dyer said their bartender was only out $30.

Now that they say they've been able to identify Jordan, they plan to file police reports.

"We're just glad that it's stopped," Donaghy said. "That he's not going to be doing it anymore hopefully here around town or anywhere else along the Wasatch front."