|Robert Scott Utley|
Utley didn't skip on just his bar tab, he left without paying any of his hotel bill, which totalled R$14,488, or about USD $7500. The charge for caipirinhas alone, which cost R$15 each at the hotel, was R$6000, or USD $3000.
According to an article in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, after being arrested, the tourist was taken before a magistrate who charged him, and then let him go free on bail, as there were no provisions under Brazilian law to detain him until trial. After signing a note promising to appear before a Brazilian court whenever summoned, he was released and taken to the city's American Consulate. His passport was not taken nor was he forbidden to leave Brazil, and the consulate refuses to say if he has left Brazil or not.
The newspaper article says that Mr. Utley's defense for skipping out was that his credit card had been counterfeited and cancelled, and he couldn't pay his bill. So he decided to return to the United States and send payment from there. But, according to Mr. Utley's statement, lack of funds wasn't the only reason for leaving the hotel on the QT. He told police that although he had reserved the hotel for fourteen days, he left on the thirteenth day because he was having heart problems due to his seven bypass grafts and wanted to get back quickly to the US for treatment.
Let's do a little calculating here. Four hundred caipirinhas in thirteen days with seven bypass grafts. That works out to just about four caipirinhas per graft per day. That's a serious thirst and an impressive feat. Too bad it all went south before he got on that plane to the USA. Besides, what was he thinking trying to catch a Delta flight to the US? Delta doesn't even serve caipirinhas as far as we know!