Judge orders arrest of Baltimore's alleged dine-and-dasher after he skips court Monday

Alex Todd McKay has disappeared, again.

The dapper diner accused of walking out on restaurant tabs around Baltimore skipped court Monday. District Judge Katie O’Hara ordered a warrant for his arrest.

“He does have several other active cases in Los Angeles, Georgia, I believe North Carolina,” Assistant State’s Attorney Russell Radziak told the judge.

With his straw fedora, charming banter and stories of New York glamour, McKay made a splash when he arrived in Baltimore this spring. The stylish 54-year-old said he was moving his posh event planning firm from Manhattan to Baltimore.

McKay also developed a reputation for allegedly dining and dashing.

In four days alone last month, he skipped out on a $45 tab at Golden West Cafe in Hampden and a $59 check at Joe Benny’s in Little Italy, and he stiffed Todd Conner’s in Fells Point for $52, restaurant owners say. Waiters and bartenders used a Facebook network to track his whereabouts.

He was due in court Monday on a theft charge for allegedly failing to pay a $237 tab at the Sagamore Pendry pool bar. He’s due in court next week on another theft charge, one from allegedly walking out on his bill at Todd Conner’s.

When police questioned him at the Pendry last month, officers couldn’t determine his identity. They found no trace of his name in Maryland or New York records, police wrote in charging documents. He said he was staying at 2611 St. Paul St., but the address doesn’t exist. He had no driver’s license.

McKay agreed to an interview with The Baltimore Sun last month, explaining his unpaid tabs as mistakes — he either forgot to pay or he covered his share of the bill. At the Pendry pool bar, he was partying with a birthday group when everyone skipped out, he said, leaving him with the check. He also said he was taking a powerful antibiotic and suffers bouts of forgetfulness ever since he drank parasitic water in Manhattan.

But court records reveal even more about McKay, an admitted check counterfeiter who was scolded a decade ago by a federal judge in Savannah, Ga.

“It’s obvious to me that you are a habitual liar, that you are a cheat, and that you are a con man,” said U.S. District Judge William Moore Jr., after sentencing him to four years for bank fraud.

Since The Sun wrote about him three weeks ago, others have come forward saying they encountered McKay. Don Davis, owner of the Grand Central nightclub in Mount Vernon, said he withdrew a job offer when McKay couldn’t provide paperwork. Frank Milwee said McKay visited his Georgetown antiques shop and placed a $25,000 order with a cashier’s check, but never returned for the pickup.

McKay has a habit of reviewing his meals online, even at restaurants where he was accused him of walking on the check. The restaurant workers track him through his reviews on TripAdviser.

He posted another two weeks ago, gushing about a winery and meal of seared beef and spaetzle noodles.

McKay wrote that he was dining in Budapest.

tprudente@baltsun.com

twitter.com/tim_prudente

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