Man claimed to be health inspector to get free drinks from bar

A drinker's desperation for his next tipple led him to make a number of outrageous and false claims to bar staff.

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Lance Walters
Lance Walters
(Indian River County Jail)

We’ve all had times when we just have to get a drink. And it can be frustrating, to put it mildly, when we find our bar of choice has just closed before we have time to get our order in.

Nonetheless, one Florida man’s extreme solution to the problem of a shuttered bar may come back to bite him.

Lance Walters, 27, stormed into Earl’s Hideaway Lounge in the east coast beach town of Sebastian after the bar closed early Saturday, police said.

When the manager denied his request for a drink, Walters insisted he was a health inspector and threatened to close down the business, Sebastiandaily.com reported.

When that story didn’t work, Walters allegedly claimed his father was the Chief of Police in Palm Bay.

“At one point, the subject dared [the manager] to hit him so he could close the business down,” according to a police affidavit quoted by the paper.

Eventually staff lost patience with the grifter and called police when Walters repeatedly ignored the manager’s demands that he leave.

Officers arriving at the scene found Walters standing in the parking lot, reeking of booze, and still screaming at bar employees.

The cops, too, asked him to just leave. But Walters stood his ground and changed his story again.

“The defendant stated his father also owned Earl’s Hideaway and that he was allowed to be on the property,” according to the affidavit quoted by the paper.

“The defendant began raising his voice and getting louder. The defendant was given a last warning to leave the premises by finding a ride home, but the defendant again stated he was calling the Palm Bay Police chief,” the affidavit said.

Walters was arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest without violence. His bail was set at $1,000.

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