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Robert Engles accused of hilarious escape attempt to dodge bar bill

A plastic patio wall doesn't seem capable of containing anyone who really wants to tear through it -- especially someone with a knife. But what if there's a fence on the other side?

That's the situation in which Robert Engles found himself after allegedly deciding he'd rather split than pay a $33 bar tab.

This past Saturday evening, according to the Boulder Police report on view below, Engles, who's 42 and sported an Arizona drivers license (among other things), had been drinking at the bar of the Centro Latin Kitchen on Pearl Street when he decided to leave. Problem is, he tried to do so without paying for his potent potables.

Rather than letting Engles skate, a Centro employee confronted him. In response, the report says, Engles headed onto the patio, which was surrounded by plastic due to the falling temperatures. Then, he allegedly slit the plastic with a folding knife and climbed through the opening he'd created.

Brilliant plan, except for one thing: On the other side of the plastic was a metal fence -- and while it's not exactly the sort of barrier that would require the skills of an Olympic-caliber high jumper to clear, it was tall enough to effectively pen the presumably well-lubricated Engles long enough for the aforementioned Centro staffer to catch up with him.

As Engles allegedly turned his knife in the first employee's direction, another staffer raced to the front of the restaurant, leaped over the fence (see -- it wasn't that hard), and grabbed this dream of a customer from the other side. Then they held him until the first of several police officers arrived.

Afterward, police were provided with a receipt showing that Engles owed $33 -- and because he's believed to have taken extreme measures to avoid forking over this sum, he was given free room and board in Boulder County Jail after being busted on suspicion of criminal mischief, felony menacing and the ever-popular defrauding-an-innkeeper offense. He's reportedly expected back in court tomorrow -- where the walls won't be so easy to slash.

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Look below to see a larger version of Engles's booking photo, as well as the police report.

Robert Engles Arrest Report

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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Joan Zalk, yoga instructor, charged with animal cruelty for walking chihuahua while driving car."

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