Man claiming to be soldier pulls prank on restaurants

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A cruel prank is being played on local restaurants. A man claiming to be a lieutenant in the U.S. Army walked into both Market House Pub and Cicero's restaurants in the Delmar Loop Sunday and pre-ordered food for his alleged platoon of 30 soldiers.

He planned a party with each of the restaurants for Monday night, saying the platoon just got back from Afghanistan. The man spent more than 30 minutes planning the party with the bartender at Market Pub House, according to surveillance video.

On Monday night, the man never showed up. Luckily, the manager of Cicero's got wise to the prank when she called the phone number the man left behind.

"The person who answered the fake phone number informed [her] that we were among about a dozen restaurants that have this exact same story to tell," said Market Pub House general manager, Robert Hazelwood.

But unfortunately, Market Pub House was duped.

"We cooked all the food. We had the buffet ready," Hazelwood said.

And that meant that the restaurant was left with the $175 bill.

Hazelwood has filed a police report with the University City Police Department and notified other restaurant owners in the Delmar Loop area.

Nowhere in the state statute does it say impersonating a member of the military is a crime. No one knows the identity of the man or if he ever served in the military.


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