"Every time I look at the ticket, it's unbelievable to me. I can't fathom the fact that I made an $.89 mistake that cost me 525 dollars."
The South Carolina man who is now out of a job and facing federal charges over a "soda refill" will instead be getting a warning.
Here's what happened. Christopher Lewis says that after refilling his cup at a VA hospital, a police officer stopped him and asked if he was going to pay.
Lewis says he tried to pay the 89 cents, right there ... but wasn't allowed to.
He says he was taken to a room, given a $525 ticket for "theft of government property" and told not to return to the hospital.
Lewis says he wasn't trying to get away with anything, he just didn't know refills weren't free.
"I want everybody to know that I made a simple mistake. That I'm not a thief. That I'm not dishonest. I'm trying to do the right thing.""
After Lewis' story started trending online, a V-A spokesperson says that they reviewed his case and have "determined a warning in lieu of a citation is sufficient."