VALPARAISO, Ind. — Not paying a restaurant tab will cost a teenager a day in the county jail - not in a cell, but in the kitchen.
A judge ordered Donna Shelby to wash dishes at the Porter County Jail on Thanksgiving after she was convicted of a misdemeanor conversion charge for walking out of a restaurant without paying her $18.19 bill.
Porter Superior Court Judge David Chidester ordered the penalty Monday after a bench trial for the 19-year-old. She offered no defense to the accusation that she left the Round the Clock restaurant on Aug. 12 without paying.
Chidester said the restaurant was not seeking restitution, so he sought an alternative sentence, which he remembered from an old television show.
He first suggested Shelby wash dishes at the northwestern Indiana eatery, but managers did not want her back on the property, the judge said.
No telephone listing for Shelby could be found in Porter County to obtain comment.