By Michael Smothers
Pekin Daily Times reporter
Whether four young people were truly hungry when they visited a Court Street fast-food restaurant Tuesday is in question. They ordered only one double cheeseburger, plain.
Regardless, they didn’t find the meal happy. It likely will cost them $600.
That breaks down to $150 each in fines for the disorderly conduct citations police gave the two women and two men for allegedly spraying a McDonald’s drive-up window cashier with squirt guns and driving off without paying for the burger.
“It could be twice that” if previous troubles with the law merit a doubled fine under city statutes, said Pekin Police Public Information Officer Mike Eeten. That would amount to $300 apiece for each of the meal’s two patties.
Cited for the incident were Emily Cooper, 19, of 1403 Market St.; Jordyn Chance, 19, of 1510 Willow St.; Trevor Williams, 27, and Bodie Harris, 26, both of 228 Catherine St.
The women sat in the back seat of their car and the men in the front as it pulled from the ordering station to the cashier’s window of the restaurant at 3291 Court shortly before 6 p.m., Eeten said.
The group laughed as they launched their prank, he said.
They had ordered the cheeseburger with no toppings. As they reached the window, one of them grabbed the bag with the burger.
“The girls began giggling, pulled out squirt guns and began squirting” the cashier in the face. Before the surprised young woman shut her eyes for protection, she thought she saw the man driving pull out his own water pistol, Eeten said.
The four drove away, but not before the cashier regained her composure. She memorized the car’s license plate number, its color and its direction westbound on Court.
That was conveyed to the police in time for an officer to spot and stop the car shortly after the incident, Eeten said.
The restaurant chose not to seek retail theft charges against the four “because the value of the burger was only $1.86,” Eeten said. The officer let the four go after issuing them city-based disorderly conduct citations.
Harris was sentenced to a probation term for misdemeanor possession of marijuana in 2011. It was revoked a year later, producing a 30-day jail term, according to court records.
Williams’ record includes 36 traffic citations and a 2010 misdemeanor conviction for obstructing identification.
Chance was convicted last month of misdemeanor retail theft. Cooper’s record includes three traffic citations and a reported failure to pay a speeding fine.
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin