Daniel Schlager, a 19-year-old man from Staten Island, New York, was arrested for refusing to pay for a stale doughnut at 7-Eleven last week. Schlager knew that the doughnut he had picked up was stale because he bit into it, which, admittedly, might be the worst way to learn that a doughnut is stale. But Schlager got into trouble because he ate a portion of the doughnut while waiting in line to pay, and the arrest came after he refused to pay for the half-eaten doughnut at the register. "I am not paying for it, I didn't like it," Schlager allegedly said, post-doughnut.
"This is a totally bogus arrest," Schlager's lawyer Alan Cappelli told DNAinfo. "They should have apologized and given him a fresh doughnut." Though I can agree that getting a stale doughnut blows (and would honestly love to keep a lawyer on retainer who uses the word "bogus" in media interviews), I do have to disagree with Cappelli on this one. If you went to a doughnut store, paid for your doughnut, and then took a bite, only to find out that your doughnut was dried out and stale, then it seems like a totally reasonable request to ask the salesclerk for a refund or a fresh doughnut. But eating a doughnut before you pay for it and then deciding it's gone bad seems like poor form, even if you do offer to pay for your Big Gulp, as Schlager did.
It could've been much worse as far as doughnut crimes go, however. Imagine what might've happened if Schlager had accidentally picked up a doughnut with meth as glaze. And at least Schlager's crime was self-contained; he didn't lick a doughnut and put it back on the tray for the next unsuspecting doughnut victim, like some pop stars we know.