TACOMA, Wash. — Tim Eyman said he made a mistake but did not commit a crime when he took a chair from a Lacey Office Depot without paying for it.
“I thought I had paid for everything,” said Eyman. “I know I didn’t do it right. I didn’t do anything intentionally. It was an honest mistake.”
Eyman is facing a misdemeanor theft charge for the incident last Wednesday. Surveillance video released by Lacey police showed Eyman wheeling the $70 chair out the front door of the store.
When he returned just over a minute later, the clerk said Eyman paid for two printers and copies, but not for the chair.
The surveillance video shows Eyman talking on his cell phone.
Eyman said he was speaking with lawyers from the Institute for Free Speech, informing Eyman they would review his current legal battle with the State of Washington, for free.
He said the call was good news he had been waiting for and forgot to tell the clerk about the chair.
“To say I’m distracted, it kind of understates it,” said Eyman. “I’m on cloud nine thinking this is the greatest thing that could possibly happen to me.”
While Eyman admitted he made a mistake, he and his attorney, Casey Arbenz, said they would be entering a not guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge in court next month.
“For a theft in the third degree to be committed there has to be an intent to deprive the rightful owner,” said Arbenz. “He didn’t have that… he thought he paid for it.”
The maximum sentence for a misdemeanor theft charge is 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Eyman posted this YouTube video in response to the incident: