Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Customers Accused Of Trying To Put $1 Over On Blind Operator Of Deli In Courthouse

Don't try to dupe Kent Parker just because he's blind and operates a deli in the Hamilton County Courthouse.

Every once in a while, somebody tries to cheat him despite the security cameras trained on the cash register and about a dozen sheriff's deputies a few steps away.

In the past two weeks, two women offered bills smaller than they claimed and were arrested within minutes.

"I have a lot of friends who watch out for me," said Parker, 43, who has been operating the Courthouse Deli for eight years.

Sometimes Parker can tell if a customer is acting suspiciously.

"They test me, hand me money, seeing if I know what it is," he said. "I don't see at all, but there are tricks to the trade." One is to simply lay the bill on the counter and ask one of his three employees to verify it. But not until the customer turns away.

"I don't want to insult anybody by making them think I'm doubting them," Parker said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

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