A con man living in Spain has been arrested for faking heart attacks on 20 different occasions to get out of paying for his meals at various restaurants.
The 50-year-old man, a Lithuanian national identified as Aidas J., lives in the southeastern port city of Alicante and has acted like a “typical Russian tourist” while he ordered several items off the menu before refusing to pay the bill.
Aidas was first arrested for his scams in Nov. 2022 and his most recent encounter with the law was on Sept. 19, according to Spain’s EFE news agency.
In his latest target, the shameless scammer visited the El Buen Comer in the historic district of Alicante, Spain for dinner and ordered a seafood paella and two whiskeys, which cost roughly $36.80.
When he finished his meal and drinks, the man attempted to leave but was stopped by restaurant staff who told him he had to pay.
At first Aidas, who has gotten the nickname “El Gastrojeta” said he needed to go back to his hotel to get the money.
He then claimed 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 restaurant’s owner told the US Sun.
The restaurant staff didn’t buy the man’s antics and called the cops who recognized the scammer from his prior arrests and once again took the man into custody.
Aidas confirmed his identity to the police when they arrived at the restaurant and requested an ambulance, but the officers verified he was fine and took him to the police station.
Aidas, usually dressed in designer clothing and talked by mixing several languages, would usually order a Russian Salad, “which he seems to like quite a bit,” an officer told Spain’s news agency.
One of the officers who arrested Aidas multiple times claims the man smiles when the police arrive and “he sees himself unpunished,” because he doesn’t care about spending a couple of days in jail before his short trial before the judge, according to the EFE news agency.
Doménech has sent the man’s photo to the other nearby restaurants warning them not to serve the scammer.
Several of the local restaurants filed a joint criminal complaint against Aidas, seeking he be jailed for up to two years.
Aidas has been jailed for 42 days because of two unpaid fines, according to the Sun.
Because the restaurant’s bills weren’t too much money, the man only committed “minor crimes.”
He has taken advantage of the legal system, with such small fines unpaid it’s difficult to achieve a longer sentence in prison,” a lawyer for the firm Navarra Sancho told the Sun.