Man repeatedly fakes heart attack to avoid paying restaurant bills

Written by Jeppe W

Oct.20 - 2023 1:12 PM CET


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Imagine enjoying a luxurious seafood paella and then throwing yourself on the ground, feigning a heart attack, just to escape the bill. Sounds dramatic? Well, it was a real tactic for a 50-year-old Lithuanian man, now infamously known as the "gastrojeta" among locals in Alicante.

This diner's misadventures have been detailed in local news reports, with outlets like El País and EFE news agency documenting at least 20 occasions in the past year when he employed this shocking ruse.

His acts, although unsettling, became almost predictable for the restaurant community in the area.

His latest venture was at El Buen Comer restaurant-tapería, where he enjoyed a sumptuous meal and drinks amounting to 34.85 euros (roughly $36.80 USD).

As the bill time approached, rather than reaching for his wallet, Aidas J. tried to flee. When confronted, his now signature move was to mimic a heart attack. This time, however, restaurant employees were a step ahead. Recognizing the scam, they immediately contacted the police.

Reports from El País indicate that while the man has limited proficiency in Spanish, he certainly isn't lost in translation. His notoriety has reached such heights that pictures of him have been disseminated among restaurateurs in the region, serving as a warning of potential scams.

The Alicante National Police, though initially tight-lipped, confirmed to Insider about Aidas J.'s series of arrests for similar antics in Alicante.

The man’s evasiveness extended to withholding his address from the authorities. Current reports suggest he's been presented before the judiciary, with visuals from El País capturing his courtroom appearance.

Further south, a different kind of scam is making headlines. iPhone users are advised to be vigilant as scammers, posing as Apple Support representatives, are targeting them with phishing calls.