Dine-and-Smash: Denny's Employee Hit By Vehicle of Customer Attempting to Not Pay $47 Bill
Keith Richard Habberfield {BSO}

By Ryan Yousefi

A Margate man faces charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and petit theft after striking a Denny’s employee with his vehicle during his attempted dine-and-dash.

On May 15, the Margate Police Department responded to Denny’s restaurant located at 650 North State Road 7 just after 2:00 a.m. in response to the report of a dine-and-dash and hit-and-run incident.

According to the report, a Denny’s employee told officers the incident began when a customer, later identified as Keith Richard Habberfield, 18, of Margate, attempted to leave the restaurant without paying his bill of $47.84.

Noticing that he had not paid, a staff member of Denny’s ran outside to confront Habberfield. According to the report, Habberfield ignored requests to pay his bill and entered a black Dodge Avenger parked in a spot directly in front of the restaurant. 

One of the victims told officers employees positioned themselves in front of his vehicle. Rather than address the employee’s request, Habberfield allegedly drove his car forward, striking the employees and causing them to land on the hood.

The victim told Margate police Habberfield, then continued to drive, weaving back and forth in an attempt to dislodge him from the hood. Eventually, Habberfield was successful in releasing the victim from his hood, which led to him falling off the vehicle and landing on the pavement, where he suffered severe abrasions to his right kneecap and right elbow.

The arrest report shows police arrived on the scene after Habberfield had already fled. Still, officers identified him based on his license plate and subsequently visited his residence on the 3200 block of Northwest 51st Terrance. 

As officers detained Habberfield, an additional unit conducted a show-up identification process where one of the employees from Denny’s positively identified him as the customer and driver of the car.

Habberfield was arrested and transported to the Broward County Main Jail.

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Author Profile

Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.