A woman has been released after serving 10 days in jail after skipping out on a tab at a restaurant in The Villages.
Tara Leigh Clutter, 43, of Ocala, was released Wednesday from the Lake County Jail. Earlier that day in Lake County Court, she pleaded no contest to a charge of fraud. She was sentenced to time already served and ordered to pay $29.27 plus a $3.50 service fee to Perkins restaurant on Bichara Boulevard in The Villages. She must also pay $423 in court costs.
Clutter was originally arrested Sept. 6 after leaving Perkins restaurant five days earlier without paying her bill.
When she walked out without paying, restaurant workers tried to hand her a bill.
“I don’t need it,” she told them.
Clutter strolled out to the restaurant’s parking lot and got into a white Honda four-door sedan. The manager of the restaurant shot a photo of the license plate and turned it over to the Lady Lake Police Deparmtent. When the license plate was tracked to Clutter, a police officer showed Clutter’s driver’s license photo to the restaurant manager, who confirmed it was Clutter who had walked out without paying for the meal.
Police tracked her down and took her into custody. Clutter was released Sept. 7 on her own recognizance on the promise she would show up the following month to answer to the charge in court. Clutter made matters worse by skipping that court date.
She was arrested again on Jan. 22 and spent the next 10 days in jail.