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Don't Take That Ice -- It May Cost You

Sometimes you just have to wonder whether the police and the criminal justice system have enough to do. A student at Brookdale Community College in Middletown, New Jersey, was issued a ticket for municipal court. His crime: taking a cup of ice from the cafeteria line.

Sometimes you just have to wonder whether the police and the criminal justice system have enough to do. A student at Brookdale Community College in Middletown, New Jersey, was issued a ticket in the college's cafeteria. His crime: taking a cup of ice from the cafeteria line.

He paid for his French fries, and asked the attendant for a cup with some ice, but as he did so, she walked away. So Cedric Calero just helped himself, not knowing that there was a charge for ice in a cup. Unfortunately for him, the cafeteria charges $.50 for a cup with ice.

The manager rushed over to Cedric's table, told him that the police were coming and refused the student's offer to pay for the ice and the cup. The 18-year-old freshman faced a disorderly persons charge that was later dropped. He would have had to appear in Municipal Court to face the charges.

His family hired an attorney after the school apparently tried to require that Calero admit to being guilty of theft - an admission that would appear on his college record. His lawyer reported that although the charge was downgraded, the student will still need to write a 500 word essay on the importance of following the rules. However, he will not have a criminal record.

The municipal prosecutor informed that judge the college administration and police no longer wanted to move forward with the criminal charges. The incident occurred at the end of January, and took two months and $1,000 in legal fees to resolve.

Source: Asbury Park Press, "Brookdale dropping ice theft charge," Mar. 23, 2012.

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