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Panhandler allegedly threatens child

NOW: Panhandler allegedly threatens child

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- A panhandler has been causing headaches for a local business and the customers it serves.

Now, customers and owners of La Rosita Ice Cream Parlor reached out to ABC 57 after the beggar allegedly threatened violence to a child.

“I’ve been coming here since the doors first opened," said Whitney Humphrey. 

To frequent La Rosita customer, Whitney Humphrey, eating ice cream with her family Friday afternoon was just another day.

“I came in here and I watched a lady get dropped off by a gentleman, she walked to the curb, sat on a wheelchair, and pull out a sign that said homeless and hungry," said Humphrey.

That’s when Humphrey says, she offered the woman food and things took a turn for the worse.

“She got irate, got mean, got nasty, called me a bad name," said Humphrey.

Not only threatening Humphrey and her mother, but her 7-year-old daughter.

“That’s why little kids like you get shot," recalled Whitney's daughter, R'nyah Humphrey, 

La Rosita business owner, Rosa, says this isn’t their first run in with the homeless woman.

In fact, she says it’s been happening since Spring.

“I don’t want my customers to say i'm not going to bring my kids there because its uncomfortable for my family. The police tells me they can't do anything because she’s on city property.”

According to Rosa, the panhandler is dropped off on public property where she’s legally allowed to ask for money, only steps from her outdoor patio seating.

So where is the line drawn?

According to South Bend Police and the South Bend Code of Ordinances, its when an individual solicits in an aggressive manner.

After these threats were made, police say they can legally take action if the responding officer witnesses the aggression for themselves.

In the mean time, La Rosita owners have re-directed their outside security camera to face the panhandler’s location.

"To sit there and threaten a child just because she told you to be nice? That’s not even right. Someone could’ve gotten hurt. I’ve gone to the common council about it, i've gone to the news about it, but it’s got to stop, it’s getting out of hand," said Humphrey. 

According to South Bend Code of Ordinances, if cited, a person faces a $50 dollar fine for their first citation.

Citations can increase up to $2,500 dollars with each separate offense.


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