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Local Man Masquerades as Alcoholic; Steals Coffee From AA Meeting

Submitted by editor on Mon, 10/05/2020 - 14:28

"Money is tight, your honor", was area man Ying Fong's response to Judge Stone's question about Fong's motivation. "I needed my daily coffee, your honor, and lattes are kinda out of my budget since I lost my job".

Fong stumbled upon the opportunity one morning as he walked passed the Henderson Building in downtown Lakewood. The strong aroma of brewed coffee led him to the front door of the place. "It was easy from there", claimed Fong.

Judge Stone gave Fong a particularly harsh sentence: fourteen days in the city prison. The reason the judge gave was the premeditated nature of the coffee theft. 

The top o' the morning

Fong pretended he was an alcoholic in order not to look out of place in Lakewood's daily morning meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. He even gave himself a pseudonym -- Patrick O'Reilly -- in order to "fit in" to the meeting. It was his East Asian appearance and heavy Chinese accent that gave the game away after weeks of guzzling back the free coffee.

Fong, who never drank alcohol at any point in his life, said in court that he "never had any interest in drinking", but went on to say the coffee at the meetings was "pretty good". He said he also enjoyed the "truly sad stories from some of the people there". He said he particularly enjoyed the regular visitors, included one woman who bawled her eyes out at every meeting, after she told the crowd where in town they could buy cooking sherry at a great price.

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