Why Would Someone Pose as a Denny's Manager? To Cook Own Burger, Fries

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on February 26, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Wisconsin man who posed as a Denny's manager didn't make a grand slam in the kitchen. But he had a message for customers as he was hauled off to the slammer:

"This is why you don't dine and dash, kiddies," he yelled out, the Associated Press reports.

James Summers, 52, of Madison, Wis., wore a tie and carried a briefcase when he strode into a Denny's restaurant and proclaimed he was the new manager. While the real Denny's manager called corporate to confirm, Summers allegedly fired up a griddle and made himself a meal.

The fake Denny's manager cooked himself a burger and fries, and helped himself to a soda, the AP reports. Summers was almost done eating when the real Denny's manager -- armed with confirmation that Summers did not work for Denny's -- told him to leave.

The Denny's manager also demanded James Summers pay for his unauthorized burger combo, but he refused to fork over the $10 tab. The manager called 911.

Police arrived and arrested Summers, who claimed he had problems with drugs and alcohol, the AP reports. He's facing a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge in connection with his allegedly deceitful, unpaid Denny's dinner.

Disorderly conduct is a catch-all crime that generally applies when a person behaves in a disruptive manner or disturbs the peace. Many types of obnoxious or unruly behavior can fit the bill.

But police also allegedly found crack pipes in Summers' briefcase, and a stun gun in a holster on his hip, according to the AP. Summers faces a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia, and a felony for possessing an electronic weapon without the proper permit.

James Summers is due in court March 6 for posing as a Denny's manager, and could face fines and jail time if convicted. It could be the costliest burger and fries he's ever had.

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