Blitzed, bungling, busted — a Packers fan's postgame journey

Bruce Vielmetti
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Nathan Tyler Meleski

A Packers fan from Slinger had to celebrate the team's win over Houston in jail Sunday after deputies say he stiffed a cab driver nearly $500 for a ride home after the man got drunk, lost his cellphone and couldn't find his friends at Lambeau Field.

He also apparently forgot that walking in fresh snow leaves tracks.

Nathan Tyler Meleski, 24, convinced a Yellow Cab driver to take him all the way to Richfield — 111 miles — on a promise to pay on arrival, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

The cabbie drove from Lambeau to the Richfield Truck Stop, located west of Interstate 41 at  Holy Hill Road, the office said.

The passenger told him to wait while he used an ATM inside so he could cover the $475.60 fare. Instead, the Sheriff's Office says, Meleski slipped out the back of the business and left the 59-year-old cabbie without paying.

The cabbie called police, who noticed that the man had left a telltale trail of footprints in the snow.

Deputies found him at Fat Charlie's, a downtown Richfield bar.

Meleski told deputies he'd been at the Packers game, got drunk and became separated from his friends. He said he had lost his cellphone and was unable to get help.

Meleski's next ride was free — in a patrol car, to the Washington County Jail, where he was arrested and booked on a charge of defrauding a taxicab operator, a misdemeanor, and released. He had not been formally charged as of noon Monday. A conviction on the charge brings a maximum penalty of nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The owner of Yellow Cab Green Bay, who would identify himself only as Rod, said the company's driver should have required advance payment for any ride outside the city.

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