VA hospital opts for warning over fine for soda refill

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- After a story about federal officers fining a man for not paying for soda refills at the VA Hospital in Charleston, the hospital has said the man will only be warned for the infraction.

When Christopher Lewis of North Charleston, S.C., refilled his drink without paying Wednesday, a federal police officer gave him a ticket. Lewis is a construction worker and says he never noticed the signs and has refilled his drink before without paying.

The story ended up being posted on popular news aggregation site reddit via WIS-TV, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, and picked up a lot of Internet interest.{}

In a statement from the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, officials say center police watched a man who did not pay for his refill "even though signage is clearly posted on the drink machine indicating the cost of refills."{}

The statement goes on to say that the man told the officers that he was unaware and had not paid for his refills in the past, which is considered shoplifting.{}

The statement concludes by saying that the medical center does not set the fine amount of the citation.