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Man charged with leaving Outback without paying

N.M. man faces charges in incident

N.M. man faces charges in incident

June 29, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

A man who allegedly left Outback Steakhouse without paying his bill late Monday night also drove off from an accident in which he totaled a car earlier in the evening, according to a news release from the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Matthew Ruggles Weaver, 37, of Aztec, N.M., was charged with attempted second-degree assault, theft less than $100, disorderly conduct, reckless driving, negligent driving, failure to stop after unattended vehicle damage, failure to locate and notify vehicle owner of damage and failure to leave identification on an unattended damaged vehicle.

He was being held on $10,000 bond Monday at the Washington County Detention Center, a spokeswoman there said.

Employees of the restaurant told police the man ate a meal there and allegedly left a card - not a credit card - before leaving the restaurant shortly before midnight, according to the release.

Outback Steakhouse manager David Hall followed the man to his hotel after he was told by the customer that he had money in his room, but the man allegedly started to run and left the hotel, according to the release.

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When deputies responded, they found the man lying among trees next to Halfway Boulevard by Toys "R" Us, the release said.

Back at headquarters, police discovered the man was suspected to have driven off after striking a car with his tractor-trailer in the area of Valley Mall earlier in the night, police said.

The unattended vehicle, a Hyundai, was totaled in the accident. The striking vehicle leaked oil and a trail was traced to the man's hotel, where his tractor-trailer was parked, according to the release.

Police allegedly found several oil containers near the tractor-trailer. Once inside the vehicle, they found a checkbook with the man's name on it and a cell phone, which started to ring, according to the release.

Police answered the ringing phone and spoke to the owner of the tractor-trailer company, who identified the man as the driver, according to the release.

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